Planning Decades Ahead: Creating Modern Learning Environments
Through the decades since our founding, Ohio State has worked proactively to provide students, staff, faculty, and administrators with buildings and facilities that do more than serve their needs. Whereas other large institutions tend to have colleges and schools separated by miles—and often disciplines—Ohio State fosters interdisciplinary collaboration by locating academic disciplines in close proximity to one another on its Columbus campus and maintaining close connections across the academic enterprise elsewhere in Ohio.
The idea and its follow-through work. The right facilities and the right spaces—in the right places—have allowed for brilliant ideas to incubate and take flight.
As we expand our learning environments over the next several decades, however, we believe we can improve on our institutional strength by rethinking and reshaping the traditional facilities paradigm. When planning for and building the new Ohio Union, for example, which opened in 2010 as a physical steward of the Scarlet and Gray tradition, we considered every audience, every activity. Called “the living room of campus” by many, the Ohio Union enhances the university experience through quality programs, flexible spaces, and an inclusive, inviting environment. The new Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building is another example, conceived as a “community” of engineers, scientists, and others who will work collaboratively to build new strengths, reveal new solutions.
By considering social, intellectual, cultural, recreational, and academic needs, we can magnify both the purpose and the outcomes in each new space, be it residence hall, medical facility, laboratory, or academic complex. And with each new space, we will remain committed to environmental responsibility—employing state-of-the-art “green” principles by using sustainable building materials and minimizing environmental impact through reduced energy usage. The But for Ohio State campaign will help The Ohio State University become the national model for innovative campus design.