A proposed innovation district on Ohio State’s west campus is gaining momentum through two proposed buildings that will support research and technology commercialization.
Next week, Ohio State’s Board of Trustees Master Planning and Facilities Committee is expected to review a pair of projects proposed for the university’s west campus – located west of Kenny Road and south of Lane Avenue. Framework 2.0, the university’s long-term planning vision, identified this area for a future innovation district.
The Interdisciplinary Research Facility, originally planned on Columbus’ midwest campus, is now targeted for west campus. The project will deliver an innovative and modern environment to serve multiple disciplines. In addition, Ohio State will seek design approval for a co-located Energy Advancement and Innovation Center, a hub for technology commercialization first outlined in the university’s comprehensive energy management partnership.
“The west campus district is envisioned as a hub to nurture future public-private partnerships that drive research and provide unique learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff,” said Jay Kasey, Ohio State’s senior vice president in the Office of Administration and Planning. “These buildings will be sited together to share programming, reduce square footage and provide programmatic synergies.”
At the board meeting, the university will seek approval for $3 million in professional services for the Energy Advancement and Innovation Building, which will be a hub where Ohio State faculty members, students, alumni, ENGIE researchers, local entrepreneurs and industry experts work together on the next generation of smart energy systems, renewable energy and green mobility solutions.
The project is a cornerstone of the university’s public-private partnership with Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP). As part of the agreement, OSEP committed $50 million for the project, including $35 million in design and construction costs.
“We are thrilled to be seeking design approval of this ground breaking project which is one of the cornerstones of our long-term partnership with Ohio State,” said Serdar Tufekci, CEO of Ohio State Energy Partners.
The Interdisciplinary Research Facility is currently undergoing design which will inform total project cost. The project will house approximately 270,000 new square feet including wet, computation and core labs, a vivarium and support spaces.
The two new buildings will join the Wexner Medical Center West Campus Ambulatory Center Facility as fixtures on west campus. The ambulatory center, to be located south of the Kenny and Carmack roads intersection, is currently in its design phase. The facility will be approximately 400,000 square feet and will include central Ohio’s first proton therapy treatment facility in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The full west campus innovation district, outlined in Framework 2.0, will likely take multiple decades to reach its full completion.
“It will be an exciting place,” said Keith Myers, Ohio State’s vice president of Planning and Real Estate. “Decades from now, we could have 3,000 to 4,000 folks living there. We may have a transit center and research facilities for both Ohio State and potential private partnerships.”
Infrastructure needs, including utilities, parking and transportation, are being studied in conjunction with the proposed projects. All future work will require additional board approvals.
In addition, the university has studied recreational fields and their usage and has been working on a long-term vision for maximizing space, focusing on opportunities close to residential areas and leveraging the university’s proximity to the Olentangy River Corridor.
Information for this story was provided by OSU.