You almost miss it, tucked in as it is between the School of Art and Conklin Hall.
When people do notice BGSU's flowing, wedge-shaped chiller plant, it often elicits a
double take and "What is that cool building?" Although the sleek metallic exterior offers no clue to what's going on inside, "cool" is the operative word
here - the plant provides cooling for the Wolfe Center for the Arts, Fine Arts Building, Moore Musical Arts Center and the Health Center.
The intriguing structure did not go unnoticed among professional architects. It won a Special Mention in the American Institute of Architects Ohio Design
Awards recently and was honored with a Cleveland AIA award last year.
"It's good to see infrastructure recognized as a positive addition to the BGSU landscape," said Rick Ortmeyer, principal with Bostwick Design Partnership
of Cleveland, which designed the facility.
Atop a base of specially made corbelled brick, a shimmering wall of stainless steel screening rises, allowing a partial view of the interior when viewed
from certain angles. Like window blinds, the "slats" allow air to flow through the plant, preventing heat build-up inside.
"The building is responsive in an aesthetic way to what we consider an arts environment," said University Architect James McArthur, director of the Office
of Design and Construction.
"The specialized design conceals what is basically a mechanical room," said Robert Boucher, senior project manager in Design and Construction and project
manager for the chiller plant. "A lot of planning also went into its orientation. They looked at it in the context of the surrounding buildings and made
sure it was unified in its height and its sight lines."
"Its placement also works with pedestrian circulation," McArthur noted, and is in keeping with the BGSU Master Plan goal of providing enhanced campus
walkways and appealing outdoor spaces.
The chiller plant also helps achieve the University's goal of increasing sustainability in its infrastructure, McArthur said. Having a centralized facility
for the east end of campus reduces maintenance and is much more energy-efficient.
The building is expected to repay its construction costs in energy savings fairly quickly, McArthur said, and has the capacity to support an additional
building should more cooling become needed.
BGSU Festival Series to 'Encircle the World'
- The Blade
BGSU welcomes academically strong freshman class
BGSU welcomed one of its most academically successful freshman classes in history to campus on Aug. 17. The class of 2016 comes in with a grade point
average of 3.27, the highest in more than 30 years.
It's also a diverse class. Just over 22 percent of the more than 3,700 new students are multicultural. And for only the second time in University history,
more than 15 percent of freshmen are from out of state. Geographically, 33 states and the District of Columbia are represented.
"BGSU continues to build on its solid reputation in the market," said Albert Colom, vice president for enrollment management. "Recruitment initiatives have
helped us get in front of students, and once they were on campus, our new buildings and other improvements made a lasting impression on them and their
University community rallies around Family Campaign
The BGSU family has again shown its enduring commitment to our students and to sustaining an environment in which they can succeed. This year's Family
Campaign has yielded $824,694 in donations from faculty, staff and retirees.
More than 70 representatives from across campus provided leadership and volunteer hours during the fiscal year campaign, coordinating promotional events
and introducing colleagues to ways to make a difference.
Donors directed their gifts to a wide variety of programs and areas, including scholarships, travel grants, faculty support and student organizations.
Among current faculty and staff, 50.38 percent participated, giving $388,969. Several departments had 100 percent participation. They include: Accounting
and MIS, Capital Planning, Career Center, Design and Construction, Institute for the Study of Culture and Society, New Student Orientation and First Year
programs, Office of the President, Student Academic Services (College of Education and Human Development), Student Employment, Student Financial Aid,
Student Health Services, Student Publications, Office of Technology Transfer, President's Leadership Academy, University Advancement and the Women's
Center. View a gallery of 100 percent departments
Many areas organized special events to promote the campaign. BGSU Firelands, which had a 77 percent participation rate, holds an annual Family Campaign
luncheon at which they highlight a scholarship.
In addition, 395 retirees together donated $435,725, demonstrating their ongoing dedication to the University and its mission of serving students.
"Our donors really understand the scope of the need that exists and are willing to share generously," said Linda Snyder, 2012 campaign co-chair. "We know
that for many of our students, scholarships are the crucial piece that enables them to continue their college education."
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