Ohio State University: Student input key to new campus master plan

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As The Ohio State University embarks on a new campus master plan, Framework 3.0, the university community is encouraged to contribute input about Ohio State’s future. The university kicked off the effort to gather students’ feedback for Framework 3.0 with Sept. 14 student engagement sessions at several locations around the Columbus campus.

During the sessions, staff members invited students to share their ideas at stations set up at Ohio Union, Hale Hall, Kennedy Commons, Traditions at Scott, Morrill Tower and MarketPlace on Neil. Students penned suggestions on Post-It notes, writing about what they love about Ohio State’s campus and what they would change.

Students’ suggestions included more parking closer to classes, more dining options with ethnic dishes and more outdoor seating areas where students can observe nature, among others.

“My suggestion was more places for individual or small-group study,” said Ben Bloir, a fourth-year history major. “The rooms in Thompson Library that you can (reserve), we need more of those.”

Second-year student Jessie Kong, who is majoring in computer science and engineering, also mentioned Thompson Library in her feedback.

“One thing I like about it is the Grand Reading Room. I really like that place because I feel like everyone there is focused, studying, and it’s pretty inviting, and that usually helps me focus on my work,” she said. “I know some people like to study alone, but when I’m surrounded by people, it’s a good space. It makes me feel productive.”

The student engagement sessions included an evening presentation at Hale Hall’s Martin Luther King Lounge about Ohio State’s ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

“The things we’ve been hearing a lot about – DEI, sustainability and wellness – we see those as being issues that we want to get feedback on,” said Rebekah Gayley, a senior project manager in Planning, Architecture and Real Estate, which is overseeing the campus plan and coordinated the engagement sessions with the Office of Student Life. “We’re in the very beginning stages of the planning. We think that as we go through the next year of planning, those will be things that we want to keep coming back to and making sure we’re being responsive to.”

Ohio State launched the first Framework campus plan in 2010 and updated the plan in 2017, when Framework 2.0 was completed, Gayley said. In addition to DEI, Framework 3.0 will consider:

Academic and research excellence and facilities strategies
Student housing, dining and recreation
Campus landscapes and streetscapes
Connectivity and mobility
Post-pandemic space needs
Academic core backfill opportunities
Facility condition, deferred maintenance planning, and energy targets
“At the conclusion of our work, the Framework 3.0 plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval, likely in late 2023 or early 2024,” Gayley said. “We’ll have a report that’s issued, and we have a few touch points with them throughout the process, as well.”

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