Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Shoemaker pedestrian bridge ribbon-cutting celebrates connections between campus and community

OU-C Director of Facilities Management Dave Scott (left), Dean Tuck, Mayor Everson and Ohio University Executive Dean of Regional Higher Education Bill Willan with the symbolic ribbon-cutting.

A ribbon-cutting event was recently held to celebrate OU-C’s new Shoemaker Center pedestrian bridge as well as the practical and symbolic significance of the new structure.

The 70-foot span connects the Shoemaker Center with the upper level parking lot and is heavily used by campus and community members attending athletic and other events such as graduation in the center, as well as using its fitness equipment and popular walking track.

“We celebrate the completion of a new pedestrian bridge and the symbolism that transcends the physical structure,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said.

“In many ways, this structure represents the mission of the Chillicothe Campus. Since the Shoemaker Center is utilized by so many individuals and for such a variety of events, the bridge spans the campus and the community, both literally and figuratively.”

“So, the bridge, as well as the activities within the Shoemaker Center, provides a daily reminder of the connection between the campus and the community it serves. More than a regional campus, we want to truly be a campus of the region, and this bridge captures that spirit in many ways and reminds us of the value in staying connected.”

Chillicothe Mayor Jack A. Everson delivered a proclamation on behalf of the city. The mayor is an OU-C alumnus and former Hilltopper basketball player during his college days.

“As a regional campus, OU-C has a special relationship with the region it serves,” the mayor said in reading the proclamation. “Most Chillicothe Campus students are from this region. Further, after earning their college degrees, most of these individuals have then pursued their professional aspirations in this area.”

“Beyond academic programs, OU-C looks to add to the vitality of the region by providing other resources. Many area residents will cross this bridge to visit the Shoemaker Center and attend events or use its facilities,” the mayor said.

The revamped bridge includes new features such a steel roof that will not only shelter individuals from the elements but will also  reduce the need to apply salt in inclement weather, thereby extending the life of the structure.

Further, the bridge is fitted with laminated glass panels that feature the campus name and logo. The structure is visible throughout campus, and this allows it to serve as an attractive focal point as well as extend the campus’ appeal.

The original structure was built in 1979 and reinforced in 2005.

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