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Varsity Village Concept Wins Okay from Trustees

Date: Sept. 26, 2000
By: Chris Curran
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Photos by: Dottie Stover
Archive: General News

The UC Board of Trustees approved the concept for a consolidated Varsity Village sports complex and new athletic fields to be shared by recreational and varsity sports Tuesday, Sept. 26.

sketch of new fields

Dale McGirr, vice president for Finance, said the plans unveiled during the meeting are "consistent with the Master Plan and a good vision" for the university.

The proposed new building would allow Athletics to combine a number of offices and services in a single location. Those include weight training, health services, ticket sales, and coaching offices. Student health services would be included in the building, because Athletics shares many of same health professionals.

The building would be located between Shoemaker and Daniels Hall, which would require the demolition of the Sander Annex and Dabney Hall. "Dabney is difficult to rehab, and it will be replaced by new housing," said McGirr, who added that all programs and facilities affected by the demolition would be moved to new locations on campus.

The second major part of the new athletics plan is combined-use recreational and varsity outdoor facilities. Those include new all-weather practice fields and a new tennis complex located between the Shoemaker Center and Meyers Field. Johnny Bench Field would be moved off campus; however, McGirr noted that baseball needs more room for parking, locker rooms, and seating which is not available on campus.

Hall of Fame plaza

"The plan would make these facilities much more accessible to the general student body," said McGirr, who noted this was the first time a comprehensive shared-use schedule has been negotiated with recreational and varsity sports.

The funding and timing for construction will be considered at a later date. McGirr noted it would be possible to develop Varsity Village as a series of projects rather than a single, large construction project.

The trustees also heard an update on temporary Main Street facilities to be opened on campus next year. Niraj Dangoria, director of campus planning, explained how large wayfinding markers will help direct people to the services and offices they need to find. "They will very visible, very tall," said Dangoria, "so you should always be able to see them."

There will also be several meetings this quarter where the campus community can learn more about the temporary Main Street facilities. "We're doing more than just maps," said Dangoria. "We'll meet with Faculty Senate at their October meeting. We're meeting with UCAAMP, student groups. We're going to talk to as many people as possible." The Ohio Board of Regents approved the bond pledge for construction of the complete Main Street project last week.

sketch of new gargage

Plans for a new 900-car parking garage on Clifton Avenue were put on hold to give developers, residents, and UC more time to consider new suggestions regarding the housing components of the plan. A revised development plan is likely to include less parking and more housing, including modern buildings to replace some of the aging fraternity and sorority houses in the area. McGirr indicated the planning "could take a few months" to make sure that everyone's interests are taken into account.

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