The University of Dayton is one step closer to bringing two drivers of economic development and philanthropy to campus to collaborate and work alongside members of some of its programs.
The Dayton Plan Board recently approved the site design for a new office building UD has proposed for 1404 S. Main St.
The two-story facility would become the new home of the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, the Dayton Foundation and the Dayton Development Coalition. .
The missions of the three partners in community and economic development complement each other, and they view this as an opportunity to figure out creative ways to work together for the common good, university officials said.
“So many opportunities come from connecting community and university resources,” Hunter Phillips Goodman, executive director of the Fitz Center, said in May. “The possibilities are limitless.”
The roughly 38,800-square-foot office building will be constructed on vacant land at Creative Way and South Main Street, just south of the Emerson Helix Innovation Center.
The new building, which will have a brick exterior consistent with UD’s other campus properties, will have a glass atrium, large lobby and a multi-purpose room. The architectural elements are similar to the $51 million GE Aviation EPISCenter building, which is a few blocks away.
“We’ve tried to do essentially a modern building that is recognizable as a UD building,” said John Roll, architect with Roll & Associates.
The Dayton Foundation will take up the first floor, and the coalition and Fitz center will occupy the upper level, Roll said.
The Dayton Foundation and Dayton Development Coalition both have had issues with their clients finding their offices, which currently are in downtown office towers, Roll said.
The new building will allow UD and The Dayton Foundation to develop an even deeper relationship, said Michael Parks, president of The Dayton Foundation.
“There’s always been a strong relationship between the foundation and UD, and this will allow us to leverage the talents of the university’s faculty, staff and students more broadly on leadership initiatives and other community projects,” Parks said in a statement.
The building is in keeping with UD’s vision for that part of campus to be a center for collaborations as part of its academic, research and service missions, university officials said.
The EPISCenter allows UD researchers and students to work side by side with GE Aviation scientists and engineers to create new technologies, the university said.
At the Helix, students get to work with Emerson engineers and others to help develop innovations in air conditioning, refrigeration, heating and ventilation.
UD owns the EPISCenter. Emerson owns the Helix, but UD retains ownership of the land.