Preservation Merit Award to Columbus City Schools, the Columbus Board of Education, the
Ohio School Facilities Commission, and Ricciuti Balog Harris, for preserving and
rehabilitating the 1893 Ohio Avenue Elementary School at 505 S. Ohio Ave. in Columbus as a 21st
century learning environment.
If James Thurber returned to his hometown today, he’d still recognize the Ohio Avenue School,
thanks to Columbus City Schools, the Columbus Board of Education, the Ohio School Facilities
Commission, and Ricciuti Balog Harris. Thurber is among the many former students of Ohio Avenue,
which is the first of the district’s historic school renovations to be completed. The finished
building fuses 19th century architecture with a 21st century learning environment where today’s
students are prepared for the future. When this project started, Ohio Avenue School consisted of
the 1893 building, which is a neighborhood landmark; a 1950 addition; and a 1967 wing. The plan
initially called for the 1893 building to be renovated, the 1950 addition to be retained, and the
1967 wing to be demolished. After further thought, the architects suggested a new plan: demolishing
the 1950 wing, retaining the 1967 one, and building a connector in between to expose the 1893 south
entrance that had been hidden since 1950 and create a new dining area. The renovated 1967 wing
houses a new administrative area, providing a secured entrance to the school. A new canopy using
vintage design motifs marks the entrance, and the addition now has a pitched roof that complements
the original building. In addition to the offices, it houses two kindergarten rooms, a media center,
and gym. The original building has 14 large classrooms that combine 21st century technology with
19th century character, including vintage pressed metal ceilings and maple floors. Adjoining
cloakrooms now house tutoring and ‘cubbies’ space. The lower level has been redesigned for new
music, art, and special education rooms. The entire complex has new electrical, plumbing, and HVAC
systems, new furnishings, and the latest 21st century technology.
to return to the list of 2008 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.
for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.