BGSU board extends partnerships for regional growth, development

As part of its commitment to contributing to regional growth and strengthening the community, Bowling Green State University engages in a number of partnerships with external organizations. The BGSU trustees at their May 4 meeting took action on several items related to economic development and community support.                              

An area in which local economic activity is surging is BGSU’s aviation studies program, which has grown beyond expectations. To accommodate the additional planes and hangar that are needed for the number of students in the program, the board approved the expansion of its original, four-acre ground lease with the Bowling Green Flight Center, a subsidiary of North Star Aviation, to about 8.2 acres.

The University partners with North Star to provide planes and flight training, and in 2015 opened a new hangar and aviation training facility on property it leases to the flight center. Enrollment has grown steadily from about 70 students in 2014, to about 194 this semester, with a projected fall 2018 enrollment of more than 300.

The trustees also approved three joint-use agreements, as required by the state whenever BGSU serves as the administrator of state capital funds for capital project partnerships with outside groups, all of which benefit both BGSU and the public, and guarantees the University continuing access and connections to the projects.

The first agreement covers $800,000 of state-provided financial support to assist in the development of a significant capital project in Sandusky. The completed facility, created in conjunction with Cedar Fair, will provide apartments, living spaces, classrooms, conference rooms and offices to support BGSU’s developing program in resort and attraction management.

“This partnership with Cedar Fair will provide the company and the resort industry with the skilled employees it needs to continue its growth and success while giving our graduates an entrée into good careers,” Fischer said.

The second agreement covers $450,000 provided for the construction of a 5,800-square-foot addition at the Perrysburg Heights Community Center. The space will be used for physical as well as educational and enrichment activities to serve the needs of a wide age range of children. The University will have continued access to and use of the facility to conduct academic programs in support of the public services to members of the Perrysburg Heights community.

The third agreement involves the project to build a new $4 million senior center for the city of Bowling Green. The University will serve as administrator of $1.6 million in state capital funds to oversee the project. BGSU has longstanding connections with the existing center and the Wood County Committee on Aging, particularly through the College of Health and Human Services and its Optimal Aging Institute, as well as other campus groups that serve the community.