BGSU plans $150 million in capital projects

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University will initiate approximately $150 million in capital projects on campus over the next several years that will be funded through private gifts, bonded debt and state funds.

The projects, all designed to enhance academic programs and student life, include new construction of the Wolfe Center for the Arts and a convocation center. Renovation projects are planned for several signature academic buildings including University, Hanna and Moseley halls, the Ice Arena, Health Center and McDonald dining hall. Facility improvement and renovation plans, both short- and long-term, for the residence halls and small-group living units are currently being developed.

“Each of these projects will add to the enrichment and quality of student life and learning on campus, as well as provide a positive impact on the community,” said Sidney A. Ribeau, BGSU president.

“These projects are important to our continued effort to offer outstanding programs in quality facilities. It is essential that we invest in the structures where our students live, learn and gain valuable life experiences,” he added.

The Wolfe Center for the Arts, which is estimated at $38.5 million, is designed as a landmark facility that will showcase diverse aspects of the arts—one of Bowling Green State University's centers of excellence. The facility will be funded by a combination of private dollars and state capital. Classroom and theatre spaces are planned, as well as theatre production areas and digital computer labs. The building, which is to be constructed by late 2010, also will house the Department of Theatre and Film.

Under the leadership of recently hired Provost Shirley Baugher, the University is reviewing data from a recently completed facilities audit and soon-to-be-completed comprehensive strategic planning initiative to assess the priorities for improving and enhancing academic facilities.

“A superior learning experience is a long-standing tradition at BGSU—from our eminent faculty to the quality of our facilities,” said Baugher. “Through this process we will continue to invest in academics. Upgrading classrooms and science laboratories, as well as enhancing the overall learning environment for our students, are top priorities.”

The convocation center, a $36 million project, will serve as a venue for men's and women's basketball, volleyball, commencement ceremonies, student concerts and other student-related events. The center, which will be built on the east side of campus near the athletic complex, will be funded by a combination of private donations and bonded debt. Construction is expected to begin in early 2010.

Renovation of the Ice Arena will begin with infrastructure and exterior building improvements during spring semester 2009. Additional funds provided by private gifts will focus on team and fan amenities.   

Work on the Health Center will ensure holistic health care services for students, faculty and staff, such as health and wellness programs, direct services, counseling and disability services, and nutrition counseling. The project will entail renovations to the existing building, including improvements to the College of Health and Human Services, as well as an addition to house the combined offices of the Health Center, the Counseling Center and Disability Services, with construction planned in late 2009.

According to Ed Whipple, vice president for student affairs, residence halls will also be assessed for future projects. “We are examining the master plan and the facilities audit in order to provide the best living and learning environment for current and future students,” he said. “Within the next year, we will move ahead with renovations, being mindful of integrating residential upgrades with academic needs.”

# # #

(Posted November 30, 2007 )