Members Of New Ridges Advisory Committee To Be Announced Later In July

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Ohio University will name members of the newly reauthorized Ridges Advisory Committee later in July OU President Roderick McDavis says.

In a letter to the university community McDavis said he is requesting the committee hold it's first meeting early this fall. Governor John Kasich signed a revised version of the 1988 statute that formed the original Ridges Advisory Committee Sunday.

McDavis said the committee will "provide guidance, feedback and recommendations on the land use plan developed by a newly created Ridges Master Planning Committee."

"Over the course of the past year, much public discussion and inquiry has focused on Ohio University's historical preservation, restoration, decision making, oversight, and most importantly, the positive stewardship of the former Athens Mental Asylum, which we now call The Ridges," McDavis said. "Our steadfast commitment to The Ridges as a community resource and our respect for those who lived and worked there are at the forefront of our minds."

The revised statute comes after Athens community leaders brought up the issue of the advisory committee as a way to ensure community input after the university demolished the old tuberculosis ward on the property in the spring.

"I am pleased that the president is determined to move forward with the committee and I certainly hope that the committee will be allowed to be an active and viable voice for the community as well as the university," Ron Luce, executive director of the Athens County Historical Society and Museum said.  Luce has been critical of the university's decision to demolish the old TB ward and plans for the Ridges property.