Saddlemire demolition to begin soon

The Saddlemire Student Services Building has been vacated, paving the way for demolition of what’s commonly been called “the round building” on campus.

The 40-year-old landmark is being leveled to make room for the future Wolfe Center for the Arts. The start date of the demolition is still uncertain, but a required notice to proceed will be issued to the contractors on Tuesday (July 3).

Moving their equipment on site after the notice is issued will be Baumann Enterprises of Garfield Heights, the demolition contractor; Romanoff Electric of Toledo, and Helm & Associates, mechanical and plumbing contractors from Maumee.

Hazardous material abatement can also begin at that point, although there’s relatively little to abate considering the building’s age and size, said Marc Brunner, project manager in the BGSU Office of Design and Construction.

Brunner said the project will close the section of Ridge Street between Mercer Road and Willard Drive except for construction and emergency traffic. To reach lots N and 14 on the west side of Saddlemire, Lot O west of the Student Health Center, and buildings farther west along Ridge Street, including Olscamp Hall, the Eppler Complex and Hayes Hall, travelers will have to take East Merry Avenue to Willard Drive, then turn right onto Ridge.

No parking lots will be closed during the 60-day period in which the work must be done from the issuance of the notice to proceed. “Work,” in this case, refers not only to removal of the building but also, among other things, to leveling and restoration of the site with grass seed, removal of equipment and fencing around the site, and any necessary restoration of the street, curbs and catch basins.

Brunner said the number of days of actual tear down won’t be known until the contractors distribute their schedule. “Hopefully, it will have minimal impact” on students, he added.

The concrete will be ground on site and used as fill there. Where the other debris goes is up to the contractors, who can recycle anything they want. They can also, before leveling the building, salvage any remaining fixtures that may have monetary value.

Fencing will be erected inside both the north-south sidewalk that separates lots N and 14 from Saddlemire, and the east-west sidewalk on the north side of the Fine Arts Center. Also outside the fence will be a group of trees that will be maintained just southwest of Saddlemire; the Spirit Rock east of the building; a diagonal sidewalk that angles northwest-to-southeast and trees along the sidewalk, also on the east side, and a fire hydrant north of the building.

The east-west sidewalk that extends between Saddlemire and Kreischer Quadrangle will be removed, but the locust trees along Ridge Street will stay, as will a memorial ash tree near the Fine Arts Center. Another memorial tree, planted near Saddlemire’s north-side patio in honor of former Counseling Center Director Barbara Kalman, will be relocated to the health center grounds.

A plaque honoring the late Dr. Gerald Saddlemire, for whom the building was named in 1995, has already been moved to the south entrance of Conklin North. That’s where most of the building’s student services offices were moved during June, in a relocation that wrapped up ahead of schedule.

“The move into Conklin was finished a week ahead of time,” said Robert Waddle, assistant vice president for capital planning. He credited the smooth move to everyone involved, including BGSU Materials Handling personnel; American Interiors, the Toledo business that moved office furnishings; Information Technology Services; David Crooks, student affairs; Tim Carney, residence life; Barry Piersol, College of Technology, and Brett Pogan and Jodi Sickler, both capital planning. “They all just really did a great job,” he said.

Construction of the Wolfe Center is scheduled to start in about 18 months. A new student services building is still a few years away, Waddle said.

July 2, 2007