University of Cincinnati unveils revamped Scioto Hall after $38 million renovation

Students move into residential building next week
Posted at 7:00 AM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 07:00:18-04

CINCINNATI -- The University of Cincinnati will celebrate the grand opening of its newest residence hall Thursday, roughly one week before 471 students call it their new home.

The grand opening of Scioto Hall will feature comments by Interim President Beverly Davenport, a ribbon-cutting and tours of the 10th floor, said Todd Duncan, assistant vice president for UC’s housing, food and retail services. Students will move in Aug. 17 and Aug. 18.

Scioto Hall, a 152,846-square-foot apartment-style residence hall, is located in the northeast quadrant of the main campus, bordered by Martin Luther King Drive and Jefferson Avenue. Its glass-enclosed design features 360-degree views and 132 apartments.

Scioto Hall during renovations. (Lisa Ventre, UC Creative Services)

Scioto had been unused from a residential standpoint since 2008, Duncan said. Renovation on the hall started in late 2014.

“The continued enrollment growth at the university has positioned us in a place of needing additional housing capacity on an annual basis, so this was our opportunity to bring back Scioto in a design that supports today’s student,” he said.

UC has added 600 beds to its housing offerings this year, Duncan said, ahead of the more than 6,500 students that will use both on- and off-campus housing in the 2016-2017 school year. That’s a 25 percent increase over last year, or about 1,300 more students in need of housing than last year.

UC first brought apartment living back to campus in 2013 with the opening of the renovated Morgens Hall -- now commonly referred to as Scioto’s twin sister, Duncan said, but Scioto does have a few design differences.

To begin with, Scioto reduced the size of resident assistant apartments from doubles to singles to give resident assistants more privacy, Duncan said.

It also made the ground-floor student lounges at its north and south ends larger to accommodate more people, said UC Project Manager Jack Schnieder.

Additionally, Duncan said, one of the more unique features of Scioto is what it will be in the future. 

Work is starting now on a third dormitory -- the former site of Sawyer Hall -- that will pair with Morgens and Scioto and serve as a mixed-use building, featuring a 275-seat residential dining center, campus office space and 330 suite-style beds.

The residential section of the new building will connect with Scioto via a pedestrian bridge, Duncan said.

The new building is scheduled to open in fall 2018. 

Scioto, Morgens and the former Sawyer Hall opened in 1964 and are known around UC as “the three sisters,” Duncan said.

Renovation on Scioto Hall cost $38 million. A portion of the funding came from the selling of green bonds, the first time UC used green bonds as a source of funding for a major project, Schnieder said. Green bonds fund projects that have environmental benefits.

Scioto Hall, on the right, before renovations. Morgens Hall is on the left. The “twin sisters” now once again look alike after Scioto’s renovation. (Lisa Ventre, UC Creative Services)

In 2014, UC became the first public university in the United States to bring a green bond to market, selling around $29 million in green bonds to support the renovation of Scioto Hall.

Schnieder said Scioto Hall likely will receive a gold-level LEED certification. Morgens is LEED certified at the silver level.