BGSU sets room and board rates, plans improvements


BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees addressed a packed agenda of financial and campus construction items, from room and board rates to building renovations, at its Feb. 22 meeting, held at BGSU Firelands.

With the new room and board rates, BGSU will rank fifth lowest in overall cost among Ohio’s 13 state universities, at $18,458 a year.

“I’m proud of BGSU’s dedication to containing costs for our students and providing the most beneficial learning and living spaces,” said William Primrose III, chair of the board. “The actions we are taking today demonstrate our commitment to both goals.”

For fiscal year 2014, the board approved a modest average increase of 2.37 percent for room rates, once again utilizing differentiated rate increases for different categories of room types and amenities. The increase for the Standard Double Room reported annually to the Ohio Board of Regents for comparative purposes is 2.38 percent, bringing it to $2,580 a year, or $60 more than last year.

Meal plan rate increases of 2 percent were also approved. Although the University did not raise plan rates last year, a rise in food prices and other operational expenses necessitated an increase for the coming year, said CFO Sheri Stoll.

The Bronze meal plan, which is most commonly used in comparison to other institutions and also by the Ohio Board of Regents, will cost $1,512 a semester, or $30 more than last year.

The University will move ahead with capital improvements to its physical campuses. The trustees approved next steps in Phase Two of BGSU’s Residence Hall Master Plan, which includes renovations and upgrades to existing residence halls and relocation of selected learning communities.

The Honors Learning Community will move from Harshman Quadrangle to Founders Hall for fall semester 2013. The total cost of preparing the facility is projected to be $800,000. Funding will come from the Academic Affairs Reserve Funds.

In addition, the second floor of Olscamp Hall will be renovated, creating a series of prototype learning spaces that include classrooms, common spaces, project workrooms and study areas. The state-of-the-art space will allow the University to conduct real-world tests of designs and concepts that will guide future designs. Classes will be held in the space beginning next fall. The renovations will cost about $4.8 million, to come from long-term debt.

Also slated for an upgrade is the Student Recreation Center, which has not had major renovations since it opened for use in the fall of 1979. In June 2012 the board approved design and pre-construction services to prepare for the facility’s eventual renovation. In the meantime, the University contracted with Wood County Hospital to provide and administer a new Student Health Center, freeing up funds that can now go toward the cost of the recreation center.

The entire project will be done with the pursuit of LEED silver certification. A number of long-deferred maintenance needs throughout the building will also be addressed, and a new front entry designed to let in more natural light.

The initial project estimate is $13.4 million, of which $11 million will come from long-term debt plus another $2.5 million from repurposed student general fees that had previously been budgeted for annual health center operations.

The completion date for the project is estimated to be August 2014.

The board also approved:

  • An upgrade to the Kreischer Hall fire alarm system, for $599,000, to come from Series 2010 Bond funds (earmarked for Residence Life facilities)
  • An upgrade to the BGSU Firelands fire alarm system, for $588,800, to come primarily from Firelands’ State Basic Renovation Funds
  • Roof repairs and replacements and masonry work for a number of buildings, totaling an estimated $4.2 million. Funding sources for the 13 projects will come from deferred maintenance reserve funds for the academic buildings, Series 2010 Bond Funds earmarked for Residence Life facilities, and OhioLink, for the BGSU at Levis Commons facility (Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository).
  • Changing the name of the Bachelor of Science in Technology to Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology for students enrolled in those programs.
  • An honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree upon alumnus and former trustee Bob Sebo of Salem, Ohio, in recognition of his ongoing support of the University.

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(Posted February 23, 2013 )