Planned Demolition Spurs Preservation Fight At University

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ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — The planned demolition of a century-old campus building to make way for a new facility for Ohio University’s business school has stirred up a historic preservation fight on the campus.

The brick building known as the President Street Academic Center and previously as Science Hall is expected to come down over the summer at the campus of nearly 24,000 students, The Columbus Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/1PCf0gQ). The university’s board of trustees approved the $1.5 million demolition last month.

The site of the 1911 building on the National Register of Historic Places will hold a new building for the university’s business school, university officials said. Renovating the building would cost significantly more than the new $15.2 million facility, according to Joseph Lalley III, the university’s senior associate vice president for information technologies and administrative services.

But the building is significant because it was designed by Ohio architect Frank Packard, said Tom O’Grady, executive director of the Athens County Historical Society & Museum. Packard designed a number of buildings on and around the university and at Ohio State and Miami University.

“Athens and Ohio University can become a destination for people seeking to discover Ohio’s historic architecture, and the legacy of Frank Packard in particular,” O’Grady said.

The business college’s dean, Hugh Sherman, said he planned to line up a major donor within three years for the project before moving forward with construction of the new facility.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch,



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