State Sen. Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond) has announced that the state Controlling Board approved the release of $106,906 for renovation-related cost for the Rhodes Center at Shawnee State University.
“It was actually a capital request we were appropriated in a past capital bill,” said Butch Kotcamp, director of planning construction and facilities at SSU. “We actually had a bill identify $1,315,586 total budget for the Rhodes Center renovation, and this is part of it.”
The nearly $107,000 release is earmarked for the design.
“It's so we can hire Tanner Stone architects to do the design of the renovation,” Kotcamp said.
The current appropriation is actually a reappropriation from an original bill. “The money was appropriated in House Bill 530, but is a reappropriation from the original bill House Bill 16,” said Kotcamp. “If you don't use the money during that year, it is reappropriated in the same line item, so you can still use it. It doesn't go away.”
Several renovations are included in the overall plan.
“We will replace the gym floor, and upgrade the mechanical systems in the building. They are 30 years old and obsolete,” Kotcamp said. “We will also be doing ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) upgrades in the bathroom facilities. We listed that specifically in the Controlling Board request.”
Niehaus said he was happy the appropriations were approved for two reasons.
“I think as Shawnee State continues to serve the needs of its student population, we want to make sure they have the best facilities available,” he said. “And I was particularly glad to see a local company like Tanner Stone get the contract.”
The James A. Rhodes Athletic Center, located at the east end of the campus, between Third Street and the Ohio River, is home to the Bears basketball teams and volleyball team, and serves as a practice and training facility for all other SSU sports teams.
The center seats 1,500 for sporting events and 2,400 for concerts, and in addition to intercollegiate sports, it houses the Sports Studies Program, the Golden Bears Senior Citizens group, and the university weight room and cardiovascular room.