Home Campus Here’s what Ohio U has planned for the ‘Bat House’

Here’s what Ohio U has planned for the ‘Bat House’

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It’s been over two years since former University President McDavis was driven from the house on 29 Park Place by bats. Ohio U has some plans in the works.  

The former house of the university president at 29 Park Place is currently abandoned, but Ohio University is looking to change that.

We are currently considering alternative uses, as outlined in the University’s Comprehensive Master Plan,” Ohio U spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said.

Ohio U is currently under investigation by the state inspector general in regards to the university’s purchasing of a new house at 31 Coventry Lane for former Pres. Roderick McDavis in 2015.  

The university had to find a new home for McDavis after his wife broke her foot while being startled by a bat in 29 Park Place, as The Athens News originally reported in 2015.

The university did not buy the new home at 31 Coventry Lane, instead opting to lease it. This decision was made after it was revealed that the owner of the home, John Wharton, had “verbally pledged to OU Athletics Director Jim Schaus (in February 2015) about $200,000 in donations in connection with the housing deal,” as reported by The Athens News earlier this year.

This University Comprehensive Master Plan, approved and finalized in 2016 by the Board of Trustees, outlines the university’s plans for developing the campus for the next ten years. One of the potential projects listed in section four of the plan is 29 Park Place.

To supplement the University Comprehensive Master Plan, University Planning has also released a Small House Strategy Booklet that delves into the specifics of the current state of the houses on campus.  

This booklet currently describes 29 Park Place as “in need of significant deferred maintenance.”  The roof, doors, windows and accessibility of the house are listed as “poor.”

While the house on 29 Park Place is currently vacant and in need of renovation, Compass describes it as a facility with “opportunities to expand student program needs”.

But Vice President of Finance and Administration Stephen Golding stipulated back in 2015 that “any unit or college that may utilize that space will be responsible for making the necessary renovations or repairs to the building to make it suitable for future use. The building would also be maintained from the budget of the unit or college that might assume occupancy of it.”

The President of the University may be out, but student programs may be in at 29 Park Place.

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