$23 Million Renovation Planned for Founders Hall at Ohio State Newark/COTC


The oldest and largest building on The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) shared campus will undergo a complete renovation, renewing the structure’s lifespan and allowing both institutions to meet the needs of students throughout the 21st century.

The $23 million project will transform Founders Hall, a 90,200-square-foot building constructed in 1968, into a modern, welcoming facility emphasizing openness and natural light. With an increased focus on high-quality teaching, learning and co-curricular environments, the renovated facility will become an inviting location for study and engagement, offering a multitude of exciting future possibilities.

Projected Project Cost and Funding Sources
The institutions have already secured $12 million in private gifts for the project and will be pursuing an additional $2 million in private gifts over the next year.

“The generosity of these donors is extraordinary, as is their commitment to the future needs of the Newark campus,” said COTC President John M. Berry, PhD. “These private gifts will enable us to proceed with the complete renovation of the building, including refurbishing all three floors; replacing all major HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems; updating the building’s exterior; and creating a new courtyard in the space adjacent to Hopewell Hall. Further, upon completion, the facility will be paid for in full.”

Funding Sources

COTC State Capital                       $3,550,000

Ohio State Newark State Capital   $3,550,000

Total Private Gifts                         $14,000,000

COTC Reserves                            $1,000,000

Ohio State Newark Reserves        $1,000,000  

Total Project Cost                        $23,100,000

“Leveraging the efficiencies and cost savings of our shared campus allows both Ohio State Newark and COTC to continue meeting the needs of future growth,” said Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, PhD. “Our unique partnership has become a model across the state for collaboration and efficiency. Students at both institutions reap the benefits of that collaboration through continued affordable access to high-quality academics and outstanding facilities.”

In addition to their co-location on the Newark campus, the institutions share services. While the governance, mission, curriculum and faculty of each institution remain autonomous, many administrative and student support offices are shared. Through this unique partnership, both institutions realize cost savings and efficiencies by sharing facilities, administrative services and employees.

Project Timeline
The two institutions are currently exploring a move-out timeline of summer 2022 for the building to be vacated, with construction planned to begin in early 2023 and project completion in early summer 2024.

Founders Hall to be renamed Louella Hodges Reese Hall
As announced this past April, upon completion of the renovation, Founders Hall will be renamed Louella Hodges Reese Hall in grateful acknowledgment of Lou Reese’s exceptional and enduring support of the Newark campus and higher education. Whether through scholarships, capital improvements or programming, Lou Reese’s deep commitment to improving the campus and community has never wavered and is a model for all. 

Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor’s degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors.

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC has four campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.