News and Announcements

Ohio University’s Housing Master Plan to further elevate students’ residential experiences

The Ohio University Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a resolution for the next phase of OHIO's Housing Master Plan – a phase that paves the way for the construction of a new 591-bed residence hall behind the front four residence halls on South Green that will provide an elevated residential experience for students that helps meet their evolving needs. 

The new residence hall, which will be the largest on campus, will feature pod-style residential communities with an emphasis on community and common space, a blend of single and double rooms to meet the requests of student residents, the inclusion of huddle rooms for private conversations and quiet study, kitchen and lounge space to foster community, single-user restrooms and multipurpose space on the ground floor intended to support various campus programming. 

“Our goal is to make this hall as inclusive as possible for those part of our residential community, but also for those residing elsewhere on or off campus, commuting and overall part of the OHIO community,” Jneanne Hacker, director of Housing and Residence Life, said. “With the multipurpose space on the ground floor that is part of the building’s design, we are hoping to invite people in who are using the adjacent green spaces around South Green. We have an amazing opportunity to reimagine the identity of the South Green neighbored and create the same unity seen on the other greens.”

Housing Master Plan rendering 2
A rendering of the Hocking River entry and recreation connection area of the new residence hall on South Green.

Building community through engagement
An important part of the design process was stakeholder engagement; Housing and Residence Life connected with numerous students and University stakeholders to learn more about their residential experiences thus far and what their expectations for the future of OHIO’s overall residential experience might look like. Housing also worked alongside University Deans and other campus partners to learn more about how they can work together to create space that fosters academic collaboration and campus partnerships. 

“We were intentional and purposeful in what we wanted out of this design – tradition, transparency and transition,” Hacker added. “Through these three focuses, we could ensure that we are paying homage to the traditional red brick, providing transparency for students to see out beyond the bricks and creating pathways that allows students to transition from the building to the green space, as well as ensuring we are transitioning the iconic parts of OHIO and South Green into this new hall.”

Housing Master Plan rendering 3
A rendering of the Bobcat Connect Node that will be on South Green once the new residence hall is built.

Reshaping OHIO’s residential experience
The Housing Master Plan will reshape the residential experience on the Athens campus for students, marking a significant step forward in the University’s commitment to enhancing its residential infrastructure. 

The first phase of this plan has been implemented and is now ready for the groundbreaking, which will be announced at a later date. With construction planned to start in spring/summer 2024, the goal is for the hall to be completed by spring 2026, with students able to move in around fall 2026. 

The Housing Master Plan was initially approved by the Board in 2022 to modernize and expand OHIO’s housing options while improving the overall quality of student life.

The Housing Master Plan lays out a comprehensive strategy that includes:

  • Meeting evolving student and family expectations to remain competitive with other institutions
  • Maintaining a flexible and appropriate bed capacity for first- and second-year students
  • Enhancing community spaces within residence halls for study, social, and recreational activities
  • Ensuring investments consider student affordability and the university's financial resources
  • Promoting inclusivity, wellbeing, accessibility, and connectivity to outdoor spaces and facilities


The plan also includes four levels of updates with the goal of bringing 100 percent of the University’s residential spaces up to a common standard. This encompasses major renovations, minor renovations, maintenance investments, and new construction to address room style needs, facility replacements, and capacity needs aligned with enrollment projections.

Looking ahead, the university plans to integrate the Housing Master Plan's capital priorities into its broader Six-Year Capital Improvement Plan process. Future projects will be closely coordinated with OHIO’s Enrollment Management team and other stakeholders to ensure comprehensive planning and timely execution.

April 5, 2024
Staff reports