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Renovations are coming to this Ohio U dining hall

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The Board of Trustees approved renovations to Shively Dining Hall and James Hall. President Nellis announced search for VP of Advancement and President of the OU Foundation. Photo by Cole Berehns.

The Board of Trustees approved renovations to Shively Dining Hall and James Hall. President Nellis announced search for VP of Advancement and President of the OU Foundation.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees convened Friday morning to approve construction projects for James Hall and Shively Hall’s dining area, as well as discussing the search continued search for several executives.  

The approved renovation for Shively is estimated to cost $1,835,100 and is intended to upgrade the “aesthetics and functionality of the space.”  Shively was last renovated by Ohio U in 2009.  

James Hall is receiving a $1 million dollar renovation designed to repair masonry that was previously damaged and unstable.  The project is intended to remove all “unstable material” and relay the masonry to prevent repeated structural failures.  James Hall was last re-stabilized for masonry failures in 2004, when temporary fixtures were put in place.

Both renovation projects are expected to begin the design process at the start of the 2018 fiscal year, and construction is scheduled for the end of the 2018 fiscal year.

The Board of Trustees also heard a presentation from “Basic Needs Ohio,” a grassroots initiative whose mission statement is to “support Ohio student success and completion by addressing our students basic need.”

Basic Needs Ohio cited studies claiming that 42 percent of Ohio U students have been “food insecure” in the past 30 days.

Basic Needs Ohio has several upcoming phases and intends to spread its mission to more faculty members, according to Assistant Professor of Political Sciences Matthew Layton.

“I’m very excited in the ways that I see this project leaking into teaching, research, and service mission among faculty here at Ohio University,” Layton said.

Basic Needs Ohio discussed one of the upcoming phases of their plan, which includes the possibility of accepting EBT at Jefferson market, which Vice President for Student affairs Jason Pina believes is an excellent opportunity for Ohio U not only to reach out to the students, but also the surrounding Athens community as a whole.

Pina, who was named Interim Diversity and Inclusion officer in August, also discussed the future of diversity and inclusion at Ohio U.

Pina stressed that the goals of the office include prioritizing students and proactive involvement across campus.  Furthermore, Pina expressed his worry that his staff is not large enough to do the full amount of work he believes it can do.

“Because of their resources, because of the staffing model, [the Diversity and Inclusion Office] are not necessarily able to have the type of relationship on with colleagues on campus to engender diversity and inclusion work,” Pina said.

Pina has been serving as the Interim Diversity and Inclusion Officer until a Vice President for Advancement is found.

President Duane Nellis also announced the search for the positions of Vice President for Advancement as well as the search for President/CEO of the OU foundation.  A search firm has been named for the two positions.  There are two finalists for the position of Vice President of Advancement, and Nellis will select from the two.

The Board of Trustees meeting came only two days after the investiture of new Ohio U President Nellis, marking Friday’s meeting as the second Board of Trustees meeting under him.

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