New renderings of Ohio State's planned Arts District — viewed by the Board of Trustees on May 30 at a meeting of the Master Planning and Facilities Committee — highlight a renovated Weigel Hall, home of the School of Music, and a new building for the Department of Theatre and Moving-Image Production major in the Film Studies Program. Both facilities feature new performance spaces, modern recital halls and high-tech classrooms.
The Department of Theatre's new building will include a thrust stage and proscenium stages, and Weigel Hall renovations will add new rehearsal spaces and recital halls.
“These facilities, located centrally and prominently near the Oval, will anchor the university’s ambitious new Arts District and reinforce our commitment to creative inquiry and performance,” said Peter L. Hahn, dean for arts and humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. “This project will bring world-class spaces to our School of Music and Department of Theatre for teaching, learning and performance — all for the benefit of our students, our faculty and the Columbus community.”
The total project cost is $161.6 million, including $1.6 million from Ohio State Energy Partners. Ohio State is seeking board approval for the remaining design and construction cost of $146.6 million. Private fundraising is expected to support about $50 million of the cost of the project.
Pending approval by the trustees, construction will begin in June and include work to enhance roadway and pedestrian access. The facilities are expected to open in August 2022.
The Arts District is part of the long-term vision to open Ohio State’s front door to the heart of the University District at 15th Avenue and High Street.
A view of the Arts District from Annie and John Glenn Avenue.
“Momentum continues to build for our investment in the arts programs through these new facilities and the nearby 15+HIGH project led by Campus Partners,” said Keith Myers, vice president of Planning, Architecture and Real Estate.
We envision this district as a centerpiece for the campus, and a place for the community to come together to engage the arts.”
The Arts District is part of Framework 2.0, a long-range plan for the environment of the Columbus campus guided and informed by Ohio State’s Time and Change strategic plan.
The new district is a complement to the 15+HIGH project on the east side of High Street. Campus Partners, the university-affiliated nonprofit, is leading the 15+HIGH construction.
The development includes a University Square, a new home for WOSU Public Media and development of a “signature building,” envisioned as a hotel, featuring direct sightlines to the Oval and William Oxley Thompson Library. A renovated Pearl Alley will serve as a retail corridor with new stores and restaurants.