Major Renovation And Several Beautification Projects Coming To AU Campus

Photo: Ashland University

ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University will complete a major renovation to one of its largest residence halls this summer and also undertake a series of campus beautification projects that together will transform the main campus into a safer, more accessible and more picturesque environment. These enhancements are being made possible by two significant financial gifts, totaling nearly $20 million, from Dwight Schar ‘64.

“This investment in our residential campus will be transformative for Ashland University,” said Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University. “For Dwight and Martha Schar to invest in his alma mater this way reflects their belief that our mission is as vibrant today as it was in 1964. The campus beautification projects and a refurbished dorm with brand new air conditioning reflect our commitment to excellence in every regard.”

Already underway is a large-scale facelift to Clayton Hall. Schar’s $8.4 million in funding will convert the nine-story, co-ed facility that can house up to 266 upperclassmen into a modern-day living space. By the start of this coming fall semester, it will be fully air conditioned for the first time and each floor will feature new suite-style living as well as other amenities.

Clayton Hall’s living spaces will be a series of two-person suites, each with a private bathroom, and there will be study lounges on every floor and laundry rooms on every other floor. Additionally, a new roof, new windows and LED lighting will be installed to make it a much more energy-efficient building. The flooring and paint will be refreshed as well.

“As we renovate, reconfigure and refresh Clayton Hall, we are creating the more comfortable, private and independent living spaces that students are looking for. This renovation will give new life to the 50-plus-year-old residence hall,” said Rick Ewing, vice president of operations and planning at AU.

A second major gift of $10.4 million from Schar will result in a number of beautification updates to help enhance the campus. These projects will take place throughout the summer and into the 2022-23 academic year. In all, there will be eight such projects:

· Library Café – A café will be added to the first floor of the iconic Archer Library as part of the general library renovation project. This new glassed-in atrium structure will enclose the existing northern patio and create an inviting presence for students as well as the entire Ashland community.

· Convocation Center Plazas – Outside the John C. Myers Convocation Center, two outdoor plazas will be constructed, one adjacent to the Lower Convo entrance and one adjacent to the Upper Convo entrance. These additions will create highly functional and attractive spaces at one of the most frequently accessed buildings on campus.

· Claremont Ave. Streetscape and Pedestrian Bridge – These two highly visible elements of campus are overdue for some aesthetic improvements. Major landscaping and sidewalk upgrades will be completed on each side of Claremont Ave. to soften this area and improve pedestrian safety. Plus, the pedestrian bridge will be refurbished in another significant effort to vastly improve this side of campus.

· Avenue of Eagles – The central pedestrian area through campus will undergo a transformation, reworking the walkway between the academic corridor and the student center. The reconstructed pathway will improve accessibility through the center of campus and include an arch to enhance brand identity in that area of campus.

· Jefferson Street Area – Transitioning Jefferson St. from a cut-through street between Claremont Ave. and Broad St. into a pedestrian walkway to the athletic complex will be more visually appealing and add to the atmosphere on game days.

· Welcome Center Parking Lot – A parking lot between the Gill Welcome Center and the Military and Veteran Resource Center will be expanded to 125 spaces and redeveloped to provide a convenient and well-landscaped area for campus visitors and commuter students.

· Brick Walkway Replacements – The brick sidewalks in front of Founders Hall and on the Quad will be replaced. This effort will include the reconstruction of both Jones’ Terrace and the Quad flagpole plaza.

· Wayfinding and Branding Signage – An extensive effort is in progress to improve and refresh the signage throughout campus, while also achieving consistent branding and messaging.

“The historically distinctive beauty of the Ashland University campus will be enhanced on a grand scale with these beautification projects, while at the same time improving safety, accessibility and functionality for the campus community and visitors,” noted Ewing.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

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