What Is It? Why the South Oval Construction Is Taking So Long!

By Joseph Barry on December 25, 2012

The first time I took a step onto the campus of Ohio State, it was the summer before my senior year of high school in 2011. I walked into the Ohio Union, from the High Street entrance, and was in awe of the amazing student center that was just a few years old. This was the most beautiful building I had seen on any of the college campuses I had visited. However, after exploring the Union, we crossed through the building to come out on the campus entrance.

What met us was something that resembled a swamp mixed with a deforestation zone. Any strand of grass that had been in the ground was torn up, metal fences surrounded the area, and multiple vehicles of construction were idly parked on the site. I eagerly questioned my lovely tour guides (a.k.a. my cousins) what this monstrosity of construction was.

They quickly told me not to fret. This area had once been the glorious South Oval; it was torn up because a geothermal system was being installed underneath the ground. Despite the lack of grass, Ohio State had decided to take a big step in going green. The word on the street was that all construction would completed in the spring; it would definitely be done by the time I started school if I chose Ohio State (which I obviously did, if you couldn’t tell).

The barren wasteland that is the South Oval; photo from thelantern.com

Well, I have now finished the first half of my freshman year of college, and the geothermal construction site now looks further from construction than it did when I first witnessed it in 2011. This leads me to believe that it may not be a geothermal heating system at all, but something much more complex. Here is my list of possibilities that this construction site could really be.

1. Gordon Gee’s Personal Doomsday Bunker – When you invest as much money in the president of a university as Ohio State does, you want to protect him at all costs. So if, say, the end of the world were to unexpectedly come, OSU would want to make sure Gordon Gee was safe and sound. The relatively short walk from Gee’s office to the South Oval makes it an ideal location for a bunker that could protect him from the worst of the worst. It shouldn’t take this long to make a geothermal heating system; it could take this long to make sure Gee’s doomsday bunker meets all of his expectations. Stocked with frozen Sloopy’s meals and videos of old Ohio State-Michigan games, President Gee will be prepared for the end of the world.

2. New Dining – On campus dining is by no means bad; compared to other schools I’ve visited, OSU easily has one of the top dining programs I’ve witnessed. However, after fourteen weeks of only so many choices, even the best of the best can become boring. That’s why the South Oval could soon become the newest dining option on campus! The faculty obviously feels bad making the students have to wait so long for the South Oval to reopen, so they decided to make it into something that students will love. And answer me this: what do college students love more than food? Don’t be surprised to witness Sloopy’s 2.0 when the South Oval finally reopens.

3. Prison – It’s always awkward when I’m walking around on campus and happen to pass someone wearing a M*chigan shirt. I have to hand it to people that do this; it really takes guts to represent that school up north in Columbus. However, just because they go through with this gutsy act does not mean they should get away with it. Perhaps the South Oval is being transformed into an underground prison special for those caught wearing blue on Ohio State’s Campus. I personally think this would be the best use of the space, but that’s just me.

I guess we will have to wait until the South Oval officially reopens, but all of these sound like plausible possibilities to me!

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