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29 Park Place transformed into new Academic Engagement Center that will open Fall 2021

Published: July 26, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University has repurposed the former presidential residence at 29 Park Place into the new Academic Engagement Center, a communal space designed for collaboration and to raise the profile of academic engagement across Ohio University and in the community.

The new space, located in the heart of campus, will open for the Fall 2021 Semester as a resource for students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members interested in furthering their academic success.

“We are excited to unveil this new center dedicated to advancing our academic mission and engagement,” Donal Skinner, dean of the Honors Tutorial College, said. “Through this center, located on Park Place corridor adjacent to some of our core engagement spaces, we plan to better engage with students and the community on how to support their academic success and supply them with the resources to progress academically.”

The Academic Engagement Center will be a place for our campus and community to gather, for events and academic programming and connections. It also houses the Cutler Scholars, as well as the Ohio Fellows and advising offices for the Ohio Honors Program. The Carriage House located behind the house will be home to the Cutler Scholars Office and the Center for Campus and Community Engagement personnel, while the first-floor space of 29 Park Place will be open for the University and community to use. The first floor can also be used as flex space for the Ohio Honors Program Advising, HTC or Cutler Scholar students, and the Ohio Fellows.

Offering a centralized location next to Alden Library, Baker University Center, and amid numerous classroom buildings for academic engagement within both the campus and community allows for all individuals interested in advancing their academics to have a single accessible location where they can seek service and resources. It’s a center for advancement, but also a place to bring people together such as parents and future students, faculty, students, community leaders, and everyone in between.

“The Center for Campus and Community Engagement (CCCE) is thrilled to be a resident of the Academic Engagement Center at 29 Park Place,” Mary Nally, director of the CCCE, said. “The University is making a powerful gesture in demonstrating the value our institution places in having spaces dedicated for engagement. Community and business partners, alumni, staff and faculty, and current students will enjoy and benefit from this multi-use space that fosters networking and collaboration. Further, the CCCE is pleased this location will increase accessibility and visibility of the engagement ecosystem and experiential learning at OHIO."

The renovation of the building into the Academic Engagement Center included not only repurposing both the 29 Park Place property and the Carriage House property behind it, but also implementing new, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment to enable meetings and classrooms to meet in the space. It will also include a variety of spaces designed for collaborative engagement and a modern seminar space for engaged learning that will also be available to host a variety of events. In addition to these upgrades, the OHIO Honors Program cohort also increased significantly, requiring more staff and accessible space for these students.

The Cutler Scholars, OHIO Fellows and Ohio Honors Program offices will start using the facilities at the beginning of Fall semester, with space utilization dependent on COVID guidelines.