Dublin Villager

City planners OK new building on OU campus

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A new building will soon be erected for Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions.

Dublin's Planning and Zoning Commission last week gave the OK to development and site plans for a three-story, 86,028-square-foot building for the new medical campus on the city's west side.

Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine acquired land with three buildings for a satellite campus in Dublin and last year began renovations on the buildings at 7001 and 7003 Post Road.

The medical campus plans to open in July 2014 with a class of 50 students.

Plans for the new building have been done quickly, Dublin Senior Planner Dan Phillabaum said, because Ohio University is seeking an accreditation for the school.

"There's been an ambitious time frame for this," he said.

The campus is in Dublin's West Innovation District and development plans for the area usually go through an administrative review team, Phillabaum said.

Because the plan will have "significant community impact," the review team forwarded recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission for "additional public review," the planning report stated.

The ART recommended approval of the site and development plans, with a few conditions.

Commission members did have a few concerns and additional conditions for the new building that will sit at the southeast corner of the Post Road and Industrial Parkway roundabout.

Commission Chairwoman Chris Amorose Groomes asked the university for more landscaping at the foundation level of the building.

Plans of the building, which has a facade of mostly brick and glass, showed few plantings around the building.

"It looks very severe," Amorose Groomes said.

Commission member Victoria Newell also asked the university to provide a bike path connection from the existing path on Post Road to the campus.

University representatives said they planned for cyclists to use a private drive from Post Road, but it remained a sticking point for Newell and the university acquiesced.

Commission members also asked the university to work with staff on tree replacement and other tree requirements in the future, as well as landscaping for two planned dry basins on the site.

Commission members said dry basins rarely work as they should and end up as eye sores. The university is planning other buildings for the site in the future and they could go where the basins are planned, Phillabaum said.

Commission members applauded university representatives and city staff for working closely and quickly on problem items pointed out during an informal review in December.

"I'm very excited about this project," Amorose Groomes said.

"It's a win-win for both Ohio University and Dublin."

Ohio University officials plan to submit a master plan for the Dublin satellite campus before they bring another building proposal to the city, Phillabaum said.

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