Imagine a campus in which the physical space complements and enhances the learning environment both in and out of the classroom, where the synergy between academic and student life is heightened, and where visitors and prospective students find attractive campus gateways.
That is the goal of the new campus Master Plan ratified by the board of trustees June 25.
The 15-year plan begins with a detailed, seven-year Phase 1 implementation plan. This includes addressing the campus core, from Wooster Street to Merry Avenue and from Thurstin Street to Mercer Road. It also calls for building on the core “active spine” between “traditions buildings” (Moseley, University, Hanna and South Hall), the Mathematical Sciences Building and Jerome Library, and engaging the northwest corner of campus, including north of Ridge Street, into the core campus experience.
The traditions buildings will be substantially modernized, with an introductory science teaching space added to Moseley. Learning spaces from some of the buildings now in poor condition will be consolidated into the traditions buildings, Eppler Center and Olscamp Hall along with the current business college building, which will be renovated.
A new College of Business Administration building will be developed.
The College of Education and Human Development will be moved into the modernized traditions buildings and/or the business college building after its renovation.
The College of Health and Human Services Building will be renovated.
And new gateways to campus will be created, with a formalized entrance at Wooster Street and North College Drive.
The plan has been under development for some time. It builds upon previous work by the Office of Capital Planning, Design and Construction, campus constituents, input from key campus leaders, BGSU’s financial capabilities, the Strategic Plan and enrollment projections.
Commons to be demolished
The trustees also gave the nod to Commons Dining Hall being demolished this summer to make way for a new dining facility. The Office of Design and Construction, Chartwells dining services (which manages campus dining services) and an outside consultant all evaluated Commons and determined that the cost of renovating it would exceed its value.
The new dining hall will serve students in Kohl Hall and eventually those in the new South-central Residence hall now under construction. Because the replacement facility will be needed soon, the tearing down of Commons is slated to begin quickly.
The project also entails relocating several offices. The campus safety and traffic departments will move to the Thurstin Center (the former United Christian Fellowship building) on Thurstin Street, which will require some ADA and power upgrades and other renovations.
Some utility lines and other equipment will also need to be moved, and the Kohl Hall kitchen will have to be upgraded to be able to temporarily meet residents’ needs while the new dining facility is being built.