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Start of School Opens New Buildings In and Around Campus

The Sept. 21, 2005, start of classes at the University of Cincinnati brings building and green-space openings.  At the same time, the first projects resulting from ongoing partnerships between UC, local employers and neighborhood groups are also complete.

Date: 9/15/2005 12:00:00 AM
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Andrew Higley and Dottie Stover

UC ingot  

Wtih the Sept. 21 start of classes, construction fences around several major campus projects – all part of UC’s ambitious Master Plan – are down and new facilities and spaces are open.  Similarly, community-partnership projects – led by neighborhood groups but supported by UC and by the four other major employers in the Uptown region – are also open.

Master Plan milestones on and off campus include



Calhoun Street garage
University Park housing atop garage
McMillan Park retail on street level
The $40 million Calhoun Street garage, located between Calhoun Hall and Dennis Street,  provides 1,000 parking spaces for the campus community as well as meeting and office space for the UC Marching Band, UC’s Facilities Management office and both UC’s Air Force and Army ROTC – all of whom moved into the garage early in 2005. 

While the garage itself, located on the north side of Calhoun St., is a university project, the housing atop the garage and the retail on the street level comprise a development effort led by the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) in partnership with Higgins Development Partners, architectural firm VOA of Chicago and leasing agent C.B. Richard Ellis. 

  • University Park
    CHCURC is leasing the air rights above the garage for 291 one- and two-bedroom apartment-style housing units with fully equipped kitchens.  Called University Park, the $54 million housing project, funded by CHCURC via a tax-exempt bond issue, is already 75 percent leased and will be owned by CHCURC and managed in partnership with Allen & O’Hara Education Services, Inc., national specialists in college student housing.
  • McMillan Park retail
    The Calhoun Street retail, also developed (and owned) by CHCURC with an $11-million loan from the university, will include
    • Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream
    • Fifth Third Bancorp
    • Panera Bread
    • Potbelly Sandwich Works 
    • Salsarita’s (Mexican restaurant)
    • United Parcel Services (UPS) shipping center

Veterinary Technology Center, Raymond Walters College
Construction began fall 2004
A $3.2 million Veterinary Technology Center of 8,140 square feet will house the RWC Veterinary Technology Program formerly housed in the East Campus Medical Sciences Building.  The building, designed by staff in UC’s Department of Renovations, will house faculty offices, laboratory and lecture space.

Van Wormer Library renovations
Renovations began April 2004
Completion by Nov. 1, 2005
This renovation of UC’s Van Wormer Library, the last 19th-century building remaining on the Uptown campus, is the first major update to the building since 1930.  Recent work includes new mechanical, plumbing, electrical, phone data, technology and other systems in order to meet current building codes and future needs.  The exterior has been completely restored and a portion of roof has been replaced with a glass dome.  (The building originally featured a glass-domed roof.) 

The $10.7 million restoration was carried out by Dayton architectural and engineering firm Lorenz + Williams Incorporated, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners of New York, and THP Limited Inc.  Van Wormer will now house the Provost’s Office and the Graduate School offices.

Campus Recreation Center
Classrooms and housing are complete
Remaining aspects – fitness facilities and food service – to open Jan. 2, 2006
The $112.9-million center is designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis, located in Santa Monica, Ca., in partnership with local firm, KZF Incorporated

It represents the final element in UC’s MainStreet projects which now stretches diagonally across campus, from University Pavilion on the west end of the university to the Schneider residence halls on the east end of the Uptown campus. 

When completed, the 350,000-square-foot Campus Recreation Center will house far more than athletic activities.  It will provide housing, dining, study, shopping and exercise options all under one roof.  Amenities include

  • Suite-style housing consisting of 224 beds for upperclass students.  Each suite consists of two single bedrooms and a shared common area with a microfridge and food counter.
  • Six electronic classrooms with auditorium-style seating, each seating 80.
  • A 4,000-square-foot Market on Main convenience store open 24/7.
  • Center Court Dining featuring made-to-order pizzas, deli sandwiches, fresh breads and more.
  • A 160-seat restaurant overlooking Nippert Stadium.
  • A juice bar.
  • A 40-foot climbing wall and a bouldering wall.
  • Eight-lane, 50-meter-long lap pool; a 22-person whirlpool; and a shallow leisure pool for water aerobics.
  • A 17,000-square-foot fitness and weight area with a total of 10,000 pounds of free weights and more than 200 cardio- and weight machines.
  • Eight racquetball courts.
  • Six hardwood courts for basketball, volleyball or badminton.
  • A four-lane, eighth-of-a-mile running track suspended from the ceiling.

Membership in UC’s Campus Recreation Center will be open to students, staff, faculty and the community.  Membership will be free to full-time UC students and available at a cost to

  • Part-time undergrad/grad students ($32 per quarter if purchased by Jan. 2, 2006)
  • Co-op students ($64 per quarter if purchased by Jan. 2, 2006)
  • Raymond Walters/Clermont colleges ($64 per quarter if purchased by Jan. 2, 2006) 
  • Recent grads ($220 first-year membership if purchased by Dec. 31, 2006)
  • UC employees ($360 per year if purchased by Jan. 2, 2006)
  • UC Alumni Association members ($400 per year if purchased by Jan. 2, 2006)
  • Community members ($665 per year if purchased by Jan. 2, 2006)

Hours of operation for the new CRC will be

  • 6 a.m.-midnight, Monday-Thursday
  • 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday
  • 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday
  • 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday

MainStreet Open Spaces
Most of the building construction associated with UC’s “MainStreet” – consisting of University Pavilion, Tangeman University Center, Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center, residence halls and the soon-to-open Student Recreation Center – is complete.  But MainStreet, the student-centered core of campus is more than buildings.  It’s also urban green space designed by award-winning landscape architects and planners Hargreaves Associates and local partners GlaserWorks for a total cost of about $21.6 million that will serve to link the campus’ rising buildings.  MainStreet open spaces include

  • Already placed trees, green space and a plaza of benches and tables between University Pavilion and the southwest side of Tangeman University Center.
  • Already completed green space and a half-moon space of granite outcroppings/steps along the front of TUC serving as an invitation to sit on the university’s front porch.
  • Already placed granite outcroppings along three elevations on the north side of TUC along with trees and tables (Bearcat Plaza).
  • Completed (and more secluded) space between Swift Hall and the Steger Student Life Center (The Mews).
  • A “spine” of up to 50 ginko and 50 maple trees running between the under-construction Student Recreation Center and the Steger Student Life Center.  The corridor of trees will end in an “exclamation point,” a rotary of red flowers in front of the SRC placed near a granite seat wall. 
  • Removal of a portion of the stadium wall to incorporate Carson Field into the MainStreet open space and allow room for a stage to be periodically erected for peformances.


Stratford Heights
Construction began spring 2003
The University Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (UHCURC), a non-profit development company composed of the Heights Community Council, Greek Affairs Council and UC is opening a 10-acre student housing project called Stratford Heights.  Bordered by Clifton Avenue on the east and extending west of Stratford Avenue, the $67-million project will encompass 14 residential buildings (suite-style living with single-, double- and triple bedrooms) as well as study lounges, TV lounges, laundry facilities and outdoor decks and patios.  The project also includes a community building as well as a multi-level garage built partially underground, dispersed surface parking and recreational areas for basketball, volleyball and other sports.

In all, the site will house close to 700 people, individual students as well as some belonging to the following groups:

  • College of Engineering students
  • College of Law students
  • Delta Tau Delta Fraternity
  • Kappa Delta Sorority
  • Lamba Chi Alpha Fraternity
  • Phi Delta Theta Fraternity
  • Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity
  • Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity
  • Sigma Nu Fraternity
  • Taft Center (housing for graduate fellows)
  • Trinity House (Presbyterian and American Baptist Ministries)
  • UC Honors Program
  • Valentine House (language-immersion for French and Spanish)

UC loaned $4.5 million to UHCURC for land acquisition and pre-development activities.  The builder/developer team – the Heights Development Company – includes Towne Properties, Miller-Valentine Group, and Cole & Russell Architects, all of Cincinnati, and Mackey Mitchell Associates of St. Louis.

University Galleries on Sycamore
Renovations began in early 2005
Site is set to open on Oct. 14, 2005
A new gallery site for the university and community, located at 628 Sycamore Street, downtown, will showcase the University of Cincinnati Fine Arts Collection of nearly 4,000 works. It will also feature works on paper and contemporary art by local, regional and national artists, including UC faculty and students. For more on the gallery space, go to

The Village at Stetson Square
Construction began November 2004
Completion in phases from mid-December 2005 to December 2006

The Corryville Community Development Corporation and the Bellevue Gardens Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (primary owners) and their developer, Great Traditions Land & Development Company, along with Humphreys & Partners Architects and Cole & Russell Architects will build 52 owner-occupied rowhouses and about 200 luxury apartments in the block bordered by University Ave., Eden Ave., Highland Ave., and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, adjacent to University Hospital.  The $70-million project calls for condos and apartments centered around a village square and community park, promoting a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. 

Phase I one of the project – a four-story building located at the corner of Stetson Place and Eden Ave. –  will be completed by mid-December 2005.  It will contain 40 apartments, underground parking and community amenities including a pool, sun patio, coffee bar, clubroom, fitness center, library, private movie theater, and cyber cafe. 

Additional phases are

  • Sixty thousand square feet of office space and 13,000-square-feet of retail space, set for completion in September 2006 at the corner of Highland and Martin Luther King Jr. avenues.
  • More than 170 luxury apartments and associated underground parking located at Martin Luther King Jr. and Eden avenues, also set for completion in September 2006.
  • Fifty-two privately owned rowhouses located on Stetson Place, set for completion in December 2006.

In support of these projects, UC provided financial assistance in the form of loans for land acquisition and pre-development expenses.

Charlton Place 
Construction began fall 2004
Townhouses set for completion in mid-October 2005

The Corryville Economic Urban Development Corporation (CEDC), in association with the University Village Business Association, is sponsoring the development of 12 townhouses at the intersection of Charlton and Jefferson avenues.  The $5 million project was made possible, in part, by a UC loan of $900,000 for land acquisition and pre-development costs.  Long-term financing is by Key Bank, utilizing new-market tax credits.