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Building upgrades planned at BGSU PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Saturday, 25 February 2012 08:55
A $9.3 million refit of McDonald Residence Hall and a $4 million renovation of the Falcon's Nest in Bowen-Thompson Student Union are among projects approved Friday by Bowling Green State University Trustees.
Across campus, a little over $2 million will be spent on upgrade projects for the Kreischer Quadrangle residence hall.
McDonald has been the scene of both demolition and construction the past two summers, first making room for The Oaks dining hall that open last August.
The latest work will begin in March with a phased upgrade of elevators. When classes end in May, work will begin to convert two lounges to 22 new student rooms, including two with ADA accessibility. Six more rooms off line since the demolition will be renovated. There will be space for 762 students when classes resume in August. Before the demo work, occupancy was 1,230 students.
There will also be electrical upgrades , exterior improvements, new entrances and other changes to change the focus of the hall to North College Drive.
"McDonald will be a nicer place to live," said Steve Krakoff, associate vice president of capital planning. "It won't be a new building but it will be a substantial improvement. I think it will become a requested place for students to live."
Krakoff expects McDonald will remain in use at least 10 to 15 years. The work will continue through the summer of 2013.  It is likely the university will want to close a portion of North College Drive on the east side of McDonald to improve pedestrian safety.
In the Union there will be an expansion and renovation of the main food prep and selection area, a change in brands for restaurant spaces, a rework of the Black Swamp Pub to provide an "upscale" atmosphere during the day and a more casual "pub" style for evening. The "back-of-house" area will be renovated and a computer lab will be relocated.
About 3,000 square feet will be added to the "Nest" area by moving a TV lounge and eliminating some group meeting spaces to the second floor where the "Greenery" is now located. "We calculate a five-year payback on this investment," Sheri Stoll, the university's chief financial officer, told the board.
Stoll said the Union will remain open offering as many services as possible. She said there are at least eight reservations of the Grand Ballroom for wedding receptions this summer. The work should be completed in 2013.
Renovations at Kreischer include smoke detectors, wireless network upgrades, security cameras, emergency lighting, interior lighting upgrades and emergency telephones.
Funding for the residence hall projects will come from 2010 bond proceeds, while the Union renovation will be paid from the Dining Services Renewal and Replacement Reserves.
Trustees also:
• Learned the actual cost of the Wolfe Center for the Arts will run about $10 million less than projected, due to a good biding environment in 2009. The money, which came from State Capital Improvement funds will be redirected to the next project on the list, updates for the Health and Human Services Building. Stoll said if that project does not use all of the funds, the money continues down the priority list. The building also houses the Student Health Center.
• Heard they will be asked to make a decision at their May meeting on moving ahead with design, location and developing cost estimates for new fraternity and sorority housing.
• Approved honorary degrees for Marin Alsop and Dr. Bernice Sandler. Alsop is music director of the Baltimore Symphony and Sandler is known as "the godmother of Title IX."
• Named Dr. Timothy Fuerst, a distinguished research professor in economics. "I am a better teacher, scholar and human being because of my last 19 years at BGSU," he told the board after their action. Fuerst came to BGSU from Northwestern.
• Approved a new licensing agreement with Blue Water Satellite. Developed by Dr. Robert Vincent, the firm uses satellite imagery to locate toxic algae blooms in bodies of water. Vincent told trustees the technology continues to become more useful and predicted improved satellite technology and refinement help will grow the business.
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 February 2012 10:34

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