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Ashland University makes campus updates for fall semester

Renovated Clayton rooms feature movable furniture, new flooring and new paint.

Submitted by: AU Honors Program

Renovated Clayton rooms feature movable furniture, new flooring and new paint.

Gracie Wilson and Zoe Bogarty

As students return to campus and take a look around, they will notice quite a few changes to the campus they left behind in the spring. 

Ashland University has been hard at work this summer providing needed updates and new fixtures to campus for students to use.

Clayton Hall: All summer, Clayton Hall has been undergoing renovations to the ground floor, main floor and second floor. The ground and main floor have received movable furniture, a new sprinkler system, new flooring and new finishes.

The second floor has seen the most improvements over the course of the summer, with changes to the standard Clayton configuration, which was two double rooms with a common space in between. Now, students will have a private bathroom equipped with a vanity and shower. The old bathrooms on the second floor will now become laundry suites on one side and a Resident Assistant’s apartment on the other.

“We’ve really looked to try to improve the aesthetics and amenities on that second floor for students, we’re doing this kind of as a pilot so we will see how students like it,” Rick Ewing, Vice President of Operations and Planning at AU said. “If they do, our intent is to do this for the rest of the building.”

One of the rooms on the floor will now be turned into a closed study room off the elevator lobby similar to Kilhefner Hall.

Second floor Clayton suites now feature a private bathroom. These suites are home to the Honors Program this year. (Submitted by: AU Honors Program)

Brick patio: The brick patio in the middle of campus is currently a hub for playing basketball, picnic table meals and outdoor studying, but now houses another feature: a new hammock station. These purple posts support multiple hammocks where students can set up solo or with their friends.

The station is complete with shades across the top to block out some of the sun and artificial turf underneath. 

“Certainly we’ve seen various places around campus where people just popped up a hammock so that kind of gave us the idea,” Ewing said. “That can still happen in random places, but this is a place for four or five or six hammocks depending on the group.” 

The brick patio between Clark and Kilhefner Halls now features a hammock station where students can relax together. (Gracie Wilson)

Jacobs Hall: To get rid of the extra space Jacobs had, there will now be new anatomy labs, instructional labs for model teaching and a lab for cadavers. Jacobs will now have several other labs and changing spaces for nursing and science students on campus.

Jacobs Hall will also be receiving a new addition next to the building. The renovations were partially funded through donations from contributors who have funded the physicians assistants program.

Jacobs was chosen specifically because of its proximity to Kettering and the building being completely isolated from the residential space. Getting rid of the extra storage space made the renovations and added labs possible without creating an entirely new building.

The Quad: Just outside of Myers Hall in the Quad, students will find a new place to relax between classes. The new wooden octagon fixture will hold porch swings that face each other so friends can hang out or professors can hold class outside.

According to Ewing, the project is funded both through the university’s strategic planning budget but also from a wellness grant geared towards relaxation and boosting mental health.

“We were just trying to find a place to create more outdoor space that people can use to relax, to unwind, to destress…we have a specific initiative around creating more collaborative spaces,” Ewing said.

The new swingset allows students a change of scenery and seating on the quad. (Gracie Wilson)

Archer Library & Clark Hall: The newly dedicated Archer Library at Ashland University and the Clark Residence Hall both received much needed roof work this summer. Crews on the library roof worked around multiple antennas and cell phone towers to fix roofing problems. 

The work to the library roof comes a few years after brick work was done on the outside, and prior to planning and initiating major renovations to the inside of the library, said Ewing.

Both returning students and new students can look forward to these new amenities on campus and enjoy them for years to come.

In addition to these highlight projects, the facilities team at AU has also completed regular summer work and maintenance to ensure Eagle Nation is ready to welcome students back for the new school year.