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2008 Pewter Holiday Ornament

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2008 Pewter Holiday Ornament


This 2008 commemorative ornament celebrates Ohio University's Convocation Center.
Information about the Convo is courtesy of the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections.

On October 5, 1965 President Alden announced to the Ohio University community his plans for construction of a new convocation center located on Richland Avenue.

Costing $8.5 million, the Ohio University Convocation Center was completed and officially opened forty years ago, during the winter of 1968 on Ohio University’s West Green.

Designed by Brubaker and Brandt Architects, with contractor Knowlton Construction Company, the 136,000 square foot, so-called “Convo,” which was originally slated to be called the “Fred Beasley Center,” featured a steel-framed dome roof that rose 44 feet in a gentle curve beginning at a 328-foot-diameter tension ring, supported by a ring of 48 exposed perimeter columns of reinforced concrete. The resulting dome structure was light and economical, with the total weight of steel being less than 10.5 pounds per square foot.  The framing used 24 radial ribs, braced by joist bridging and bulb tees, each rib consisting of four straight sections on a 328-foot radius.

Shortly after its construction, the Convocation Center received an award from the Design in Steel Award Program sponsored by American Iron & Steel Institute, and because of its unique architecture, the Convocation Center remains one of the most recognizable buildings in Southeast Ohio.
Upon its completion, the OU Convocation Center housed the largest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference, with the capacity for over 13,000 spectators.  The court was officially christened with its first official varsity game on December 3, 1968, when the Ohio University Bobcats basketball team hosted the visiting Hoosiers of Indiana University.

Eleven years after its construction, in an effort to better locate and house the needs of the expanding women’s intercollegiate athletic program and Title IX requirements, the Convocation Center underwent a significant interior renovation.  With this renovation came the addition of a women’s locker room and an equipment storage facility for the program.

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