Trustees Talk Park Place, Small Houses And Tuition Increases

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Though no decisions have been made, plans for Park Place and Ohio University’s “small houses” around campus are taking shape.

University Planner Shawna Bolin and Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina presented potential plans and asked for input about the buildings in the Park Place corridor at Friday’s meeting of the Ohio University Board of Trustees.

Bolin made the presentation interactive, allowing trustees to vote on certain options, such as what types of services the board would like to see put into residences on campus, and their opinions on motor vehicle access to Park Place.

“The way that I envision Park Place is as an open pedestrian space,” said outgoing Board Chair David Wolfort.

Trustees said they would like to see more student and academic services go into Park Place venues and houses like the former president’s residence at 29 Park Place, Trisolini, Yamada, Crewson, and other houses that are currently up for grabs with a new facilities plan.

Pina said work groups made up of university and community citizens, had looked at the options for Park Place and given feedback, saying they want to avoid some changes.

“(The work groups) don’t want to see changes to the park-like environment,” Bolin told the trustees on Friday.

Citizens also wanted to keep the “historical aspects” and residential feel of the corridor.

Trustees said they wanted to see modifications to Park Place’s street, and some wanted to see changes to buildings and sidewalks. The majority of trustees wanted to see more “active” space for pedestrians.

“It’s got to have green space, it’s got to have sitting space, you may want to have kiosks,” Trustee Dave Scholl said.

The former president’s residence could have an Alumni Center in it, if the proposal provided to officials is approved, according to Bolin. She said other proposals have been made for the house on Park Place, but no decisions have been made as to the fate of that building either.

In other business from the meeting, trustees approved a 2 percent increase in tuition and fees for regional campuses, and a 3.5 percent increase in tuition and fees for incoming students of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

They also approved the purchase of 31 S. Court Street for $8 million. The university had been leasing the property, which is owned by Gilee Group, LLC., according to Athens County Auditor’s Office records. The property currently houses programs including Women’s & Gender Studies, African American Studies and Media Arts & Studies.