BGSU plans new residence halls for 2011

(Updated at 10:10 a.m. 11-17) 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,” Oravecz said. At the upcoming 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, he said.
While not the first thing prospective students look at, BGSU President Carol Cartwright said Tuesday
morning that living spaces are important in making a decision where to attend college. She said the
announcement is the first of several in the coming months and years that will involve residence, dining
and academic buildings.
Cartwright said engineers have determined that Hanna, Moseley and University halls, the three oldest
academic buildings on campus, can withstand extensive renovations. "That will help preserve history
and create new spaces. State capital money will fund those projects," she said.
Half of the new beds will be on the site of Rodgers and the fraternity houses, the other facility will be
located in the commuter 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. New commuter parking will also be provided.
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 to make way for the
expanded Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The fraternity houses date to the late 1940s.