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UC’s New School Year Brings a Campus Green Roof and a Children’s Playscape


A children's playscape, a new green roof atop Procter Hall and more will greet students as they return for classes this fall.

Date: 8/21/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   UC PlayScape
The UC PlayScape is believed to be the first college campus, architecturally designed outdoor play and learning environment to promote learning and fuel a passion to explore and respect nature.
Procter Hall Sports a Green Roof
The University of Cincinnati’s first major green roof was installed over the summer, on the College of Nursing’s Procter Hall. The roof of was planted with hardy plants of the Sedum family. "In addition to its visual appeal, the ‘green’ approach will keep the roof cooler and prolong its life by minimizing ultraviolet exposure,” says Mary Beth McGrew, associate vice president of planning, design and construction and university architect.
Rhodes Alumni Engineering Center and the Ohio Center for Microfluidic Innovation
A new learning center for engineering and technology students will open in time for the start of Fall 2012 classes. Located on the eighth floor of Rhodes Hall and called the CEAS Learning Center, the new center features state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and learning in 10,000 square feet of space. The center, which cost $6 million, will function as a central hub for first-year students enrolled in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. In addition to housing the School of Engineering Education (SEE), the center will accommodate 24 faculty members and 175 students through its innovative study areas, classrooms, offices and common space. The center includes reconfigurable classrooms, three project rooms, and spaces for individual and group study. It also features spaces for tutoring and advising, an information center, faculty offices and a coffee bar. The flexibility of reconfigurable spaces is key for the learning center. This flexibility supports different teaching and learning styles, which improves effective learning.
On the ninth floor of Rhodes will be the Ohio Center for Microfluidic Innovation. OCMI was started with a $3 million dollar Ohio Department of Development Third Frontier Wright Projects Program grant. These funds are for research in microfluidics biomedical technology. OCMI’s goal is to enhance prior investments and jumpstart the launch of a new spectrum of products and competitive manufacturing processes. These projects range from emerging biomedical, electronics, and sensor applications to researching development, manufacturing and commercialization of biomedical devices. Many of these devices support “quick decision making” in time-critical medical settings, such as emergency rooms or natural disaster areas. Recent UC breakthroughs enable accurate tests based on minuscule amounts of body fluids. UC’s investment in OCMI will impact the college as well as the community. It is projected that the center will create more than 50 new Ohio jobs plus an additional 1,000 sustainable jobs resulting in an overall opportunity valued at $1.1 billion.

Recent renovations expand classroom space
Recent renovations to the University of Cincinnati campus include alterations to what was once known as the Sander Annex, a one-time dining facility that will now be used for classroom space.

The annex, now called 60 West Charlton, due to its location on West Charlton Street on the east side of the Uptown Campus, provides a total of 14 50-person classrooms as well as space for teaching English as a second language. Seven of those classrooms were renovated in time for the fall 2011 start of classes and seven in time for this fall’s start of classes. The building’s renovation is now complete.

That renovation, costing about $6 million, consists of needed updates to the aging mechanical system as well as updates required to transform the space for classroom use. The new space houses English-as-a-Second-Language instruction for incoming international students as well as classrooms and offices for the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and for the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.