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I don't think many people understand how bad some of the housing conditions around campus truly are...really third-world, and I'm not exaggerating. We're talking single family homes with 10+ people living in them, inadequite fire supression or even smoke detectors, landlords that could care less about safety and add bedrooms and bathrooms without permits, gas leaks, archaic furnaces and appliances, asbestos, lead paint, mold, termites, you name it. Totally inadequite parking on top of it all. Some of the things I have seen over the years are truly asounding, but people put up with it because it's all that's available in the immediete area around campus.

 

There is a huge market for student housing that isn't even upscale, just safe, functional and efficient.

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oh yeah. I lived in a real dump in my second and third year of college after moving out of Daniels Hall. A house of 7 guys paying just over $200 /month. Huge energy bills from drafting windows/poor insulation. I'm sure there were mold issues and lead paint. And the landlord was terrible. We were fortunate to have a parking lot, though.

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I'd be very careful about advocating un-densifying through zoning or some sort of incentives.  There's obviously demand for the this type of housing, or at least I should say there's more demand in the neighborhood for apartments than for single family houses.  The large projects happening in and around UC are a response to that, by introducing larger buildings that can provide more units per acre without further chopping up the existing "pie" of buildings. 

 

The need (i.e. zoning requirements and neighborhood worry-warts) for structured parking, and a banking system that still hasn't gotten on board with urban construction paradigms, are the main reason these neighborhoods haven't responded to demand by maturing to a higher density on their own.  Chopping up the existing houses into apartments can mostly fly under the radar of building/zoning officials and be done with cash on the barrelhead.  Otherwise it's just too expensive.

 

To try to reverse history and restore many of these neighborhoods to single-family would put huge pressure on other areas to try to satisfy demand.  So rather than a bunch of moderately sized 4-6 story buildings distributed around the area, with possible spinoff redevelopment, you're more likely to end up with a few highrises surrounded by large areas of stagnation. 

 

These students need to live somewhere, so I'd rather see the focus be on improving conditions.  If anything should be incentivized it's building more affordable/student housing, ultimately bringing prices down due to simple supply and demand.  Then you'll see them start having to compete on quality rather than simply price, because location is fixed.  Work on the underlying problems, rather than trying to treat the symptoms.

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I don't think many people understand how bad some of the housing conditions around campus truly are...really third-world, and I'm not exaggerating. We're talking single family homes with 10+ people living in them, inadequite fire supression or even smoke detectors, landlords that could care less about safety and add bedrooms and bathrooms without permits, gas leaks, archaic furnaces and appliances, asbestos, lead paint, mold, termites, you name it. Totally inadequite parking on top of it all. Some of the things I have seen over the years are truly asounding, but people put up with it because it's all that's available in the immediete area around campus.

 

The crazy thing is this kind of housing is oftentimes in stately old mansions.  That part of Cincinnati has a tremendous amount of character and while the new apartments are cleaner and have better amenities they sure are ugly as sin.

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I lived in a house south of McMillian on a street that was easily 90%+ students. The attic was turned into a bedroom at some point in the past 10 years buy the slumlord that owned our house and about 60 others across Clifton. The winter rolled around, I came to realize that the attic did not have heat. It was simply never installed, even though said landloard had been renting that space as a bedroom for many, many years. I'm not one to take these things lightly and after many weeks of continued arguing, documentation and finally the threat of legal action, he had heat ran to the attic (without permits of course) by just shooting a duct through the floors and up to the third floor.

 

This same landlord illegally created a basement bedroom in that house. Who wants to live in a bedroom with leaky pipes, a gas valve and water meter sticking out of the wall?

 

Another house nearby I lived in was literally collapsing due to erosion, had a bathroom installed without permits, and a family of raccoons were living in the roof directly above my bedroom.

 

Both of these houses regularly had $300-400 utility bills due to totally insufficient insulation.

 

In retrospect, I might have rather just paid double to live in a safe, clean place that was hassle free.

 

I can't buy the "but they have character" argument in Clifton or Corryville much at all as the vast majority of these houses have had their historical characteristics violated many times over by their owners just trying to get them rented ASAP. It's rare to see a place in this neighborhood that doesn't have drop ceilings, linoleum floors, vinyl siding, flourescent lighting, etc installed over the original finishes of the house.

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^I have a slight feeling we had the same landlord. I lived in a house on Hollister Street and my landlord owned around that many houses in the neighborhood. It had serious issues like cracked windows, zero insulation in the two attic bedrooms, the furnace barely worked, the water heater wasn't sized anywhere near large enough for a 5 bedroom house, the three bathrooms each had things that didn't work. One had a nonfunctioning sink, another had a broken shower, the other had a broken toilet. The construction of 65 West caused the 20' tall retaining wall to start collapsing and he did nothing about it. And this was all for 425 a person (when there were 5 people there) a month plus something like 75 a month per person for utilities. It was horrendous.

 

Thankfully after that two of my friends and I found a landlord down on Warner who actually cares about her properties and gladly keeps them up and fixes any issues that arise. For less per month in rent and utilities, we are able to live in a house that she bought and entirely renovated only two years ago. It stays warm, they added extra insulation when renovating, the windows aren't drafty, and everything in the house works like it's supposed to. I'd love it if more landlords were like her as she is super easy to deal with and takes proper care of her properties. That and her handyman rents from her as well and he is there ASAP when there is a problem. We had a roof leak problem where a skylight had been installed and subsequently removed years later and the moment the rain stopped he was up there resealing the entire roof to make sure nothing like that would happen again. You've just got to find those landlords that care and give them your money instead of the slumlords that own far too many houses to even keep track of.

 

I'm hoping as more and more of these 'upscale' projects come online that some landlords are forced to really start caring in order to compete. It seems like a little bit of that is already starting to happen. This summer there were quite a lot of renovations happening south of McMillan which was nice to see. I even saw one house on Victor have its attic expanded to be full height in the rear of the house and all the work was permitted. Nice to see someone taking the proper steps.

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I can't buy the "but they have character" argument in Clifton or Corryville much at all as the vast majority of these houses have had their historical characteristics violated many times over by their owners just trying to get them rented ASAP. It's rare to see a place in this neighborhood that doesn't have drop ceilings, linoleum floors, vinyl siding, flourescent lighting, etc installed over the original finishes of the house.

 

The interiors are shot on most of these places I'll agree.  I saw some pretty terrible places too, however, more often than not the exteriors are pretty nice even if they need a bit of TLC.  Some large scale developers have bought up old places and made them nicer though ;).  It would be nicer if the areas that are empty or those places beyond repair were brought down (this is a slippery slope on beyond repair though) and replaced with new properties.  When I state new properties though it would be nicer if the designs would be more sensitive to the neighborhood.

 

I'm going to also add that I know few other places where student housing is perfect.  While some of the examples brought up here are kind of extreme, Isn't it part of the college experience to share housing with other people in an okay but not perfect house? (I want to make sure here that I'm not at all endorsing things like not having insulation in an illegal attic bedroom).  College student's aren't all trust fund kids and the amount of debt from tuition they are taking on is pretty much crippling as it is...

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^touche, BUT I think my point is that there are some serious safety concerns associated with the condition of many properties in Clifton. I look back on my attic experience and it absolutely scares the crap out of me now since 2 UC students just died from having their space heater catch on fire in the attic of their rented Clifton house. When people have to adapt to a functionally obsolete housing stock, the results can sometimes be a total disaster.

 

All I'm saying is that more choice is always better for the consumer. Some of these new complexes, while sterile and overpriced, are absolutely filling a gap in the market and will allow students to be more choosy when shopping for off campus housing. This will eventually make its way down the food chain to some of these slumlords who will be unable to rent properties that do not meet the needs of students.

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The above horror stories are why I proposed incentives to return these to single families. If they don't change (the condition in hundreds of these homes are horrendous) but students move to a nicer newer housing product that didnt used to exist you could easily see these landlords back fill their old student housing with section 8 vouchers.

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The above horror stories are why I proposed incentives to return these to single families. If they don't change (the condition in hundreds of these homes are horrendous) but students move to a nicer newer housing product that didnt used to exist you could easily see these landlords back fill their old student housing with section 8 vouchers.

 

Bingo! 

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Another house nearby I lived in was literally collapsing due to erosion, had a bathroom installed without permits, and a family of raccoons were living in the roof directly above my bedroom.

 

Is that still abandoned? My friend lives next door to that pile of crap.

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The same by the way could be said of nearly all the student housing around the urban campuses in Ohio with UC, UD (not as bad after the school took it over), OSU, and UT the worst.

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Students typically wear down properties very quickly, don’t perform routine maintenance, and don’t have a lot of money for rent (minus the percentage that take out tons of loans or have parents pay it).  They need to have cheap, breakable, properties in order to survive.  Living with 6 roommates in a falling apart house for $900 a month is part of going to college for most people, and there will always be a demand for it.

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I'm not sure the modern helicopter parented generation (especially the sprawl denizens) will be allowed to live like that in the substantial numbers that once existed.

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UC debuts fully renovated, modern Morgens Hall: SLIDESHOW

Erin Caproni Digital Producer- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

The University of Cincinnati unveiled its $35 million renovation of Morgens Hall on Thursday.

 

The building, originally completed in 1964, was renovated in collaboration with Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects and features a high-tech design with 2,000 glass panels.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/08/16/uc-debuts-fully-renovated-modern.html

 

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UC debuts fully renovated, modern Morgens Hall: SLIDESHOW

Erin Caproni Digital Producer- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

The University of Cincinnati unveiled its $35 million renovation of Morgens Hall on Thursday.

 

The building, originally completed in 1964, was renovated in collaboration with Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects and features a high-tech design with 2,000 glass panels.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/08/16/uc-debuts-fully-renovated-modern.html

 

 

Will it still be an international/family student housing? If so, I could see the lack of fume hoods in the kitchen making it a uniquely smelling place.

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So how many rooms did this have in the past and how many does it have now?  It appears that they combined two rooms into one, plus enclosed the balconies.  I don't remember the balconies being well-used in the past.  I am a bit stunned by the inclusion of full kitchens in these rooms -- they will probably be under-used and/or abused.  The whole expectation with required meal plans is that you didn't have space to cook in your dorm room.

 

Everybody focuses on tuition but it's living expenses that are the cause of so much student loan and credit card debt.  Stuff like this is and all the new apartment complexes are certainly destroying a lot of wealth. 

 

 

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Also, nobody seems to tie together the demise of the 3 Sisters and Short Vine.  There were at one time at least 3,000 people living in the 3 sisters dorms, and those all disappeared in the early 2000s.  Turner and Schneider might have 1,000 students between them. 

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I lived in Stratford Heights for one year. (This was was before UC purchased Stratford Heights and essentially made them into dorms.) Stratford Heights only had one kitchen per building, and there were a ton of problems with people eating each other's food, using each other's pans, not cleaning up, etc. The next step up from there was the University Park Apartments, which I believe had one kitchen per suite of 4 people. So this new UC dorm is on par or better than that.

 

It is interesting that we don't really know UC's long term plan for housing. It is still a mystery what they plan to do with the other Sister. They also announced plans to renovate Siddall and Calhoun Halls several years ago but later cancelled them. They will probably make a decision, after their experience renovating Morgens Hall, whether it makes more sense to renovate the other three towers or demolish them and build something new.

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I am a bit stunned by the inclusion of full kitchens in these rooms -- they will probably be under-used and/or abused.

 

How do you abuse a dorm kitchen? Make pot brownies?

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Let's see...people pass out and the food they were cooking catches on fire, somebody yacks in the sink while blacked out, etc., etc.  When I lived in the dorms (not at UC), I remember you had to pay $75 extra for a mini-fridge in your room.  The guys around the corner from me sat theirs on its side, opened the door, and used it as a coffee table and ash tray for the entire year.  They had an inch of ash in that thing by the spring. 

 

I know I sound like an old-timer here but when I lived in the dorms in 1996, there was one bathroom per floor, one pay phone per floor (no phones in the rooms), no cable television in the rooms, no internet, no air conditioning.  On one floor a corner dorm room had been turned into "the lounge", but there was no TV, it was just 2 or 3 couches and people would sometimes go in there to work on projects.  On the floor above, there was the "weight room", which again was an unused dorm room, and consisted of one piece of old nautilus equipment, a chin-up bar installed in the corner, a mirror, and assorted free weights.  In the lobby we had a ping pong table on a staircase landing and one or two vending machines.  That was it. 

 

 

 

 

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There's still dorms like that at some schools, except they've got wi-fi. Some schools just skipped over the phone thing by handing out cell phones. At Marshall they built new dorms back in 2005 without any wired communication, just cell phones and wi-fi. I don't know if they were wired for cable TV.

 

One problem with giving everyone kitchens is that some tend to go nuts "playing house", loading up on all the kitchen equipment and dishes/silverware they had at Mom & Dads. If they haven't been exposed to the thrift store (a lot of them that come from consumption-oriented areas haven't) then the credit card gets burnout marks on it from outfitting the place. Even at the thrift store you can wind up broke if you try to own everything you had around back at the McMansion. And at UC instead of the thrift store being a hop, skip and a jump away like it is at a lot of other schools, it's way over there on Mitchell hiding in a bunch of warehouses. I never saw the number of college kids that you'd expect to see in there as compared to the Goodwill on High St. the VoA on Indianola or the Goodwills in Portsmouth.

 

Has another one opened up closer to UC that I don't know about? I have no idea about the status of the old Sears at University and Reading, but you'd think there'd be some potential there. I'd also like to see what that place looks like inside right now.

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In college I lived in a 1997 dorm with individual bathrooms, then a 1970's dorm with one shared bathroom per two dorm rooms (4-5 guys per bathroom) then a 1960's solid cinder block dorm (electric in conduits running along the walls) and we had an individual bathroom (pre-fab solid plastic bathroom) in our unit.

 

A girl I dated in high shool went to Stanford and when I visited her during college she had a room that was 1/4 the size of mine (still for two people) and shared bathrooms with the entire floor.

 

I think it just depends on where you went to school and what they built when and what building you ended up in. UC still has old buildings that require Shared bathrooms.

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Yeah, every big school has several generations of dorms which vary from old early 1900s dorms, to postwar high rise dorms with or without central air, to apartment style that started in the 1980s.  Unfortunately there are all these politics that go into which students get in which dorms.  For example, my dad graduated from UD and has consistently donated, so when my brother went there he was upgraded to the newest dorm for free.  Then he was promptly expelled from UD for violating the dorm's drug & alcohol policy. 

 

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^Well that sucks. Last I had heard they were interested in using it for something. I know structurally it has issues, but some of the details on the exterior are great. I wish something of it could be used.

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That seems to just be a price inquiry, as opposed to an actual request for bids.  I don't think UC has awarded a bid for demolition yet but I'm almost positive it's only a matter of time. Every version of the campus master plan since the 90’s has proposed it be demolished.

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^Well that sucks. Last I had heard they were interested in using it for something. I know structurally it has issues, but some of the details on the exterior are great. I wish something of it could be used.

 

It looks like there's at least a line item in the linked pricing inquiry for saving the relief carvings from the facade...

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That seems to just be a price inquiry, as opposed to an actual request for bids.  I don't think UC has awarded a bid for demolition yet but I'm almost positive it's only a matter of time. Every version of the campus master plan since the 90’s has proposed it be demolished.

 

Everyone I have talked to has said that the university has no plans to save it. Fencing just went up around the building too. It's strange that I haven't heard any news about a contract being signed though. I initially thought it was just some structural repair work to keep the building from falling into the sidewalk and crushing people. A friend of mine found this and pointed it out. Still haven't heard it is definitely being demolished, but it is looking very likely.

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That ugly behemoth of a building should have been torn down years ago.  I remember when I started DAAP way back in 2003, I've only seen it used once from then until now.  I hope they put something much cooler there.

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That ugly behemoth of a building should have been torn down years ago... I hope they put something much cooler there.

 

I think you're mistaking Wilson Memorial Hall for DAAP  :-P

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That ugly behemoth of a building should have been torn down years ago... I hope they put something much cooler there.

 

I think you're mistaking Wilson Memorial Hall for DAAP  :-P

 

Ooooh BURN! Ha good one;)

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That seems to just be a price inquiry, as opposed to an actual request for bids.  I don't think UC has awarded a bid for demolition yet but I'm almost positive it's only a matter of time. Every version of the campus master plan since the 90’s has proposed it be demolished.

 

Everyone I have talked to has said that the university has no plans to save it. Fencing just went up around the building too. It's strange that I haven't heard any news about a contract being signed though. I initially thought it was just some structural repair work to keep the building from falling into the sidewalk and crushing people. A friend of mine found this and pointed it out. Still haven't heard it is definitely being demolished, but it is looking very likely.

 

UC President Ono via Twitter: "I too would have loved to keep the building. Alas it was determined to be beyond repair. We will save its special features"

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That seems to just be a price inquiry, as opposed to an actual request for bids.  I don't think UC has awarded a bid for demolition yet but I'm almost positive it's only a matter of time. Every version of the campus master plan since the 90’s has proposed it be demolished.

 

Everyone I have talked to has said that the university has no plans to save it. Fencing just went up around the building too. It's strange that I haven't heard any news about a contract being signed though. I initially thought it was just some structural repair work to keep the building from falling into the sidewalk and crushing people. A friend of mine found this and pointed it out. Still haven't heard it is definitely being demolished, but it is looking very likely.

 

UC President Ono via Twitter: "I too would have loved to keep the building. Alas it was determined to be beyond repair. We will save its special features"

 

The essence and spirit of buildings such as that were its special features - clearly you aren't saving that

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So typical, they leave buildings to rot for years, decades even, without any maintenance, so of course they're not going to be salvageable.  They did the same thing with Beecher Hall, while at the same time showing that they could bring back many nice older buildings like Swift, Baldwin, Old Chem, and Teacher's College.  Braunstein is of the same vintage as Wilson and they did a pretty nice remodeling of it about 15 years ago.  I'd bet Blegen Library is next on the chopping block, though I haven't been by there to see what state it's in lately.  There's tons of buildings from the 50s-70s modernist and brutalist era, and quite a few nice classics as well, but there doesn't seem to be much love for the Art Deco/Moderne stuff, of which there's very little to begin with. 

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Blegen? Out of curiosity, why do you feel that? The building is in great shape and is home of the Classics Department.  I can't see any suitable reason as to why they would feel the need to get rid of it.

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UC is not an overly historic campus (still great in many ways though), but the Clifton streetscape has always been a nice historic front door. Wilson certainly contributes to that.

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That seems to just be a price inquiry, as opposed to an actual request for bids.  I don't think UC has awarded a bid for demolition yet but I'm almost positive it's only a matter of time. Every version of the campus master plan since the 90’s has proposed it be demolished.

 

Everyone I have talked to has said that the university has no plans to save it. Fencing just went up around the building too. It's strange that I haven't heard any news about a contract being signed though. I initially thought it was just some structural repair work to keep the building from falling into the sidewalk and crushing people. A friend of mine found this and pointed it out. Still haven't heard it is definitely being demolished, but it is looking very likely.

 

UC President Ono via Twitter: "I too would have loved to keep the building. Alas it was determined to be beyond repair. We will save its special features"

 

What I have heard through the grapevine is that it is far from "beyond repair," it was just determined to cost much more to renovate into something useable for classroom space than demolishing it and building new. It would basically need a full gut remodel similar to TUC.

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and they are currently doing the same thing with another building they own - The Emery Theatre.... I wonder what other buildings they own off the Main and East/Med Campus that they aren't taking care of.

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The University YMCA on Calhoun (technically on campus) is in pretty bad shape. They haven't made definite plans and I think they are more open to reusing that building than Wilson. The building has lead paint, but I believe no asbestos. Also the structure partially holds up Calhoun Street, so unless they want to build a large retaining wall they need the building to stay (or so I've heard). So it would likely be much more money to demolish than Wilson. Hopefully they can reuse it. There's been pressure from students to save it and they have done some minor repairs to keep water from entering again, but nothing beyond that.

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http://www.newsrecord.org/news/city/wrecking-wilson/article_e36f7876-18f2-11e3-b0b5-001a4bcf6878.html

 

Temporary classrooms will be put on the site in July to house students during a Teachers College renovation (I thought Teachers was very recently renovated, but maybe there is more to be done? I know Dyer Hall isn't renovated, so maybe its that). Some facades will try to be saved. There are no long-term plans for the site, but it will eventually be open to a new building. The article I linked is pretty informative.

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Wilson is an attractive building, but that kind of auditorium is unnecessary with other better spaces on campus these days. There were plans to build a social science building there though I doubt that is active at the moment.

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Not sure if this was ever mentioned anywhere, but in a discussion today with one of my professors he mentioned the new Morgens Hall and said that when they redo the other one it'll use the same fritting patterns on the glass but will have a different color glass. I thought that was interesting. I had always just expected them to be identical.

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Not sure where to post this, Downtown, US Bank Arena, or UC. Some more noise about UC moving downtown.

 

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/10/16/uc-health-strikes-deal-to-be-team.html?page=2

UC Health strikes deal to be team doctor for Cyclones hockey, arena performers

"Kremchek said he spoke by phone recently with Harris, the chief operating officer of U.S. Bank Arena, and was told the medical service provided by Beacon wasn’t the issue. The arena hopes the deal with UC Health will lead to the UC Bearcats basketball team playing games there, Kremchek said he was told."

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