BGSU trustees finalize plans for new campus gateway, address continued student success during December meeting

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Committed to serving generations of learners to come, Bowling Green State University continues to adapt to serve the public good and support workforce needs.

The BGSU Board of Trustees on Friday approved final design and construction plans for a new campus gateway, received an update on how the University is supporting student success and approved the naming of various learning spaces across campus.

Finalizing plans for a new campus gateway

After years of planning, BGSU will begin construction in spring 2022 on a new campus gateway where the former Administration Building once stood.

Providing a welcoming community entrance, the new campus gateway will seamlessly connect BGSU and the city at Thurstin Avenue and Court Street with open walkways and sprawling green space. The gateway will also showcase the University's historic buildings, restoring a traditional look and feel to the western edge of campus.

During their Dec. 10 meeting, trustees reviewed and approved conceptual designs for the new gateway and allocated $2.2 million for its construction.

The gateway's construction serves as a capstone to the University's Master Plan 1.0, the first phase of major campus infrastructure improvements.

Over the last decade, Master Plan 1.0 has served as the catalyst for the renovation of traditions buildings like University Hall and Hanna Hall, which is now part of the Maurer Center. New facilities, such as the Wolfe Center for the Arts and Centennial Hall, have also been constructed as part of the plan.

As Master Plan 1.0 concludes with the construction of the new campus gateway, the University will move to Master Plan 2.0, which will usher in the next phase of campus enhancements.

"This project is the culmination of many years of careful planning and coordination by the University, city, and generous alumni and donors," said Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer and vice president of finance and administration. "The new campus gateway, and other major projects under Master Plan 1.0, would not have been possible without the support of three University presidents and the engagement of trustees dating back to 2008. This historic project is a major step that will continue to transform campus for the betterment and enjoyment of the campus community."

Set for completion in fall 2022, the new campus gateway will feature an open-air plaza in a park-like setting, offering people an area to study, socialize and relax. The flexible space is also set to include a water feature, new trees and landscaping.

Recognizing continued student success

The board also took time to recognize the continued success of BGSU students as they create public good and lead meaningful and productive lives.

BGSU continues to hold the top spot in the Midwest for students saying they made the right choice in their college decision, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The University ranked No. 1 in the Midwest for the third consecutive year as the public university students would choose again for their education in the Wall Street Journal's rankings. BGSU is also the country’s No. 3 public university for teaching quality, according to the rankings.

"Faculty and staff have persevered through the pandemic, supporting students who have ranked BGSU as the top university in the Midwest they would choose again," said Joe B. Whitehead, Jr., provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs. "Our students have also helped the University earn the distinction of being one of the country's top public universities for teaching quality, reaffirming their belief in a BGSU education."

BGSU also saw the largest growth as a top tier university, in both national and public rankings when compared to its in-state, peer institutions in the 2022 Best Colleges rankings by the U.S. News and World Report.

Action items of the board

Recognizing the generous contributions of alumni and donors, the board approved the naming of the Mark and Christina Sponseller Collaboration Space in the Maurer Center, the state-of-the-art home to the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business.

Additionally, trustees gave approval to name an intensive care unit skills lab in the BGSU School of Nursing as the Jones Family ICU Check-Off Room.

Housed in the newly renovated Central Hall, the School of Nursing addresses a long-standing nursing shortage in Ohio and the nation. Central Hall's opening comes as 2020 was deemed the “Year of the Nurse” amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, with a wider and deeper appreciation for nurses serving on the front lines of our nation’s response to the unprecedented public health crisis.

Updated: 12/10/2021 03:02PM