BGSU digs in to dorm, dining plan
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Written by By HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 10:04
Bowling Green State University expects to have more than 850 beds in new residence halls ready for students when classes begin in late August 2011.
To accomplish the goal, Rodgers Quadrangle, the Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity houses, and a parking lot will meet the wrecking ball early in 2010.
The announcement late Monday afternoon is the first step to implementing a Residence and Dining Hall Master Plan adopted Aug. 13 by BGSU Trustees.
Rodgers was closed at the end of classes in May.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joseph Oravecz said leaders of the affected fraternity chapters were told of the plans last week and were offered housing alternatives starting in January. He noted that the master plan calls for development of a "Greek Village" on campus that will cluster fraternities and sororities. While the village is at least five years away, he said the affected groups were included in the master plan as it was developed.
"Plans kept changing, which is why they were not told sooner. We wanted to give them absolutely accurate information," Oravecz said.
"The timeline is critical to prepare the site for occupancy in 2011," Oravecz said. "We're proud of the Greek community we have at BGSU. Chapter advisers were involved early in the master plan when we were talking about concepts. At the National Association of Fraternity Advisors the university will host a session to inform them what BGSU would like to do with the new Greek Village."
Half of the new beds will be on the site of Rodgers and the fraternity houses, the other facility will be located in the parking area immediately north of Offenhauer Towers.
Associate Vice President Steve Krakoff said the facilities will cost $30 to $40 million and be built using a public-private partnership that is new to BGSU but fairly common at other universities in Ohio. He expects construction to be under way by late April or early May.
Krakoff said there may be one or more buildings on each site "designed to provide a more personalized experience for freshmen and sophomores." He said there will be smaller clusters of rooms, combined with spaces for socializing, study and living, along with better technology and amenities. Design work is in the early stages, he said.
Director of Residence Life Michael Griffel said the buildings will be scaled "to feel more homey." The spaces north of Offenhauer will be directed toward sophomores, while the new space at the Rodgers site will be directed toward freshmen.
When the master plan is completed in 10 to 15 years, BGSU expects to have fewer beds on campus.
Also planned are renovations to Commons Dining Hall, which is adjacent to Rodgers, and a new dining hall for McDonald Quadrangle, which is just south of Offenhauer. A small portion of the southwest wing of McDonald will be demolished to make way for the new dining hall. When completed, the existing dining hall at McDonald will be demolished. The McDonald dining hall also serves Offenhauer.
The residence hall projects will give BGSU four ongoing building construction projects. Construction of the Stroh Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts began this fall.
Rodgers was completed in 1955, along with Alice Prout Hall. Prout was demolished about 10 years ago to make way for the expanded Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The fraternity houses date to the late 1940s.