Major investment for Ohio State arts district

Ohio State University is to invest up to USD200m (€147m) to make arts ‘the public face of the university’.

The first phase of a major re-generation plan, the USD33m renovation of the university’s Sullivant Hall has been completed and is expected to reopen later this month.

Home to Ohio State’s dance and arts education departments, the hall features four newly-designed studios and a heightened roof to allow more room for performances.

The next phase of development includes major expansion work to Weigel Hall and Wexner Center for the Arts (which houses music and theatre performances), along with the construction of an entirely new arts complex, which is proposed to feature a black box theatre, proscenium theatre (with the potential to accommodate opera) and costume and set studios.

The project is detailed in Ohio State’s ‘One University Framework’, which lays out plans for the long-term development of the campus into several distinct districts (arts, science and technology, health sciences, athletics and recreation, and residential).

It is hoped that the significant investment in an arts district will not only benefit the university’s student body, but will also improve collaboration with arts organisations based in the wider communities surrounding the campus.

According to the framework, the district will ‘beat with passion, life and learning’, allowing ‘artists, designers, musicians, actors and dancers to create, think and perform together’.

A total budget of USD200m has been sourced from university funds, donors and the privatisation of campus parking facilities.

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