BGSU outlines building plans
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 11:03
Bowling Green State University officials cleared up some of their building plans Tuesday morning.
|BGSU President Mary Ellen, far left, speaking during BGSU/BG City Joint Visioning Update at Olscamp Hall on the campus of Bowling Green State University. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
They had nothing to do with the CVS going in downtown Bowling Green, and there are absolutely no plans for a parking garage. But BGSU officials do have extensive plans for buildings on their campus, costing an estimated $200 million.
Those plans call for multiple buildings to be demolished, opening up the view of part of the campus from the street.
"It's like we built a wall around ourselves," BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey said during a joint meeting between city and campus leaders.
In an effort to tear down the wall, the Administration Building, West Hall, and the Family and Consumer Science Building will be demolished.
Some of the older, more historically significant buildings will be renovated, such as Moseley, Hanna, University and South halls.
The changes are intended to make the campus more attractive to potential students.
"Facilities make a difference in recruitment," Mazey said. "This will make us more competitive in attracting students."
Extensive renovations are also planned for the Business Administration Building and the student recreation center. Eventually, the Education Building will come down, and a new business building will be built - with private donations being sought for much of the $40 million business facility, Mazey said.
Sherri Stoll, vice president for finance and administration at BGSU, said like many other universities in Ohio, BGSU's aging buildings have many maintenance needs that have been on hold for several years.
The demolition plans will result in the elimination of more than 200,000 square feet of buildings that have to be maintained, Stoll said. The loss of that space will be compensated for by academic space in the buildings being renovated, she said.
The master plan does not call for a parking garage - despite frequent complaints about the lack of campus parking.
"Our priority will be academics," Mazey said. "We have limited resources."
"Parking is usually an issue on any campus in the country," Mazey said.
More parking, however, will be available once some of the Greek housing by the student union is demolished. Stoll explained that it would be more costly for the university to renovate the Greek housing than build new structures.
Mazey also spoke of the proposed Falcon Health Center to be constructed on East Wooster Street, and operated by Wood County Hospital. Ground will be broken at the site on Feb. 14.
While BGSU officials have an extensive five-to seven-year master plan for campus buildings, they have no such outline for the Wooster Street corridor between the campus and downtown.
"There is no plan," Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said when a question was asked about BGSU's involvement with a CVS going where the vacant National Guard Armory now sits.
Edwards said no overall plan exists, just efforts to take advantage of "little targets of opportunity" when they occur.
Mazey said that while the downtown area of Bowling Green is attractive, the entrance to BGSU on East Wooster Street is lacking when prospective students visit with parents.
"The housing is really starting to age," on Wooster Street, she said. "That's the first thing they are going to see."
The corridor does nothing to sell the campus, Mazey said. "We're in a very, very competitive environment for students."
Bowling Green Councilmember Sandy Rowland asked if a BGSU planning person might be available to attend council or city planning meetings.
"We are one big community," she said.
BGSU officials said they would check on that possibility.