Ohio Dominican University to Break Ground on New Student Center

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Student Center to Feature "Whole Body Wellness" Theme

Ohio Dominican University will break ground for the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be Friday, February 29 at 12:30 p.m. on Ohio Dominican's main campus at 1216 Sunbury Road, in the parking lot adjacent to Alumni Hall, on the west side of Sunbury Road.

The groundbreaking and blessing ceremony, which will conclude by 1:00 p.m., will consist of the following:

  • Prayer by ODU Interim President Bishop James A. Griffin.
  • Blessing of the Student Center by Bishop Griffin and Father John Boll, O.P., University Chaplain.
  • Remarks by Monsignor Joseph Hendricks, Chairman of the ODU Board of Trustees.
  • Remarks by Jeremiah Guappone, President of ODU Student Government.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony featuring Bishop Griffin; Monsignor Hendricks; Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P., Prioress of the Congregation of St. Mary of the Springs and member of the Board of Trustees; Jim Gilmour, Chairman of the Physical Facilities Committee of the ODU Board of Trustees; and students Guappone and Dransman.     

Ohio Dominican's first Student Center is named after Bishop James A. Griffin as a result of a $1 million naming gift the Bishop presented in 2003 to the university on behalf of the Diocese of Columbus.

The explosive growth the university has experienced in student enrollment over the last six years has spurred construction of the center, as well as a new residence hall that is currently under construction and set to open this fall. A new student center was identified as one of the critical facilities required to effectively execute the university's strategic plan, which focuses on increased enrollment of traditional aged students and retention of those students through graduation.

The 82,000-square-foot facility has been designed by architects Moody-Nolan, Inc., and will be built by Messer Construction. The facility is scheduled for completion and open to the ODU community in the Fall of 2009.

A Holistic Approach:
"The Student Center will have its own unique feel, creating a holistic experience that will serve the physical, academic and spiritual needs of the Ohio Dominican student. It will represent 'the living room' of our campus, serving as the focal point for most student activities outside the classroom, and providing a more vibrant community experience for our students, which is central to our mission as a Dominican University," said Bishop Griffin.

A considerable amount of time and energy was put into the architectural design of the new facility, utilizing input and feedback from faculty, staff, the Physical Facilities Committee of the Board of Trustees, and most importantly, students. Very early in the process, ODU students strongly encouraged the university administration to make the Student Center be a place they could call their own…A place where they could go to recreate, study, eat, work out, and socialize.

As a result of their input, university planners and architects designed a $21 million state-of-the-art gathering and recreational center for both residential and commuter students that will include a variety of amenities:

  • A fitness center with cardio equipment, free weights, locker rooms, a mac gym and a group fitness/dance room
  • A grille, coffee house, and grab 'n go convenience food and vending areas
  • Student health center
  • Campus bookstore
  • Meeting and office space for student clubs, organizations, the student newspaper and RadiODU
  • Pool tables, gaming area, and music and ensemble practice rooms
  • Meditation space for reflection
  • Entertainment space for theater, movies, dances and special events
  • Mini grocery/convenience mart
  • Student Development and Career Development offices
  • Lounges for studying and socializing
  • Wireless computer facilities
  • Full-service copy center
  • Conference rooms
  • Multipurpose room

"Ohio Dominican does more than provide a quality education; it transforms lives. But quality education and the transformative environment require buildings, facilities and resources. This Student Center is vitally important to the future of the university. But at the same time as we break and bless the ground where it will stand, we will celebrate all of the students and graduates of Ohio Dominican who have been transformed by their Catholic and Dominican education," Bishop Griffin added.

Ohio Dominican University is a four-year liberal arts institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic and Dominican tradition. The university has over 3,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 50 majors as well as several graduate degree programs. Ohio Dominican uses a student-centered approach, with a commitment to quality teaching and     learning and a number of academic programs of distinction.

Log on to http://www.ohiodominican.edu/studentcenter/default.asp to view floor plans, renderings, and a simulated "fly-through" of the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center.


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