Athens County Historian Fights To Preserve Old TB Ward

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Despite being turned down from the Ohio University Board of Trustees upcoming agenda, an Athens County historian says he still plans to make his voice heard in support of an old building.

Ron Luce, executive director of the Athens County Historical Society and Museum, said he will attend the open board meeting on Friday, in hopes of being able to talk about preserving a building at The Ridges that is slated for demolition.

Luce said he was told the board wishes not to intervene with OU's decision to tear down building number 26.

"Of course the O.U. Administration had already decided that they are going to demolish the building. They are paying $300,000 of state money to demolish this building, and it appears that the university does not wish to allow any say in the matter at all," he said.

Luce also said he's contacted State Representative Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) to ask OU to put razing the building on hold until there is enough time to hold public hearings.

His goal was to have the university develop a comprehensive plan which might incorporate the reuse of the old tuberculosis ward.

Luce says OU leaders have agreed to meet with him after the first of the year to possibly discuss other plans.