OSU to Relocate Buckeye Village Residents
The clock is ticking for Buckeye Village, the cluster of two-story apartment buildings off of Ackerman Road that has served as housing for families and graduate students at Ohio State University for over 50 years.
OSU recently sent a letter to current Buckeye Village residents saying that they will be offered housing in University Village, a privately-owned apartment complex on the other side of Ackerman. The offer is for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years and includes a commitment from OSU that the units would be rented for the same price as the Buckeye Village apartments (any future rent increase would align with OSU’s overall housing rates, which are set every year).
Once the 89 currently-occupied units at Buckeye Village are vacated, the complex would close, although OSU is not saying when the buildings would be demolished or what exactly would replace them. Recent plans from the university – including the Framework 2.0 plan released in 2017 – call for the area surrounding Buckeye Village to be redeveloped into an “Athletics District.”
The beginning of work on the new Covelli Center, in 2017, required the demolition of several Buckeye Village buildings. According to OSU, before those buildings were taken down, 315 out of a total of 396 units were occupied in the complex, which originally opened in two phases, from 1959 to 1962.
“Ohio State remains committed to graduate and family housing options that are affordable, safe and located close to campus,” said OSU spokesperson Ben Johnson in a statement. He cited a 2017 effort from the university to seek proposals for a 450-unit, family-friendly apartment complex on Kenny Road, but said that “none of the proposals met the required quality and affordability thresholds.”
The site that had been set aside for that project is now slated to hold recreational fields, according to the latest west campus plans.
Johnson said that “Ohio State continues to consider the best long-term opportunities for graduate and family housing,” but offered no specifics. He did clarify that the existing Buckeye Village Community Center will remain for the time being.
OSU’s Council of Graduate Students released a statement on the university’s plans, saying the organization’s executive committee is “disappointed by the university’s decision to close Buckeye Village with no plans for replacement…the ending of our only family-housing complex goes against university values of diversity and inclusion, access and affordability, and integrity.”