BGSU School of Built Environment's new home will be named Kokosing Hall

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The BGSU School of the Built Environment, the only one of its kind in the state of Ohio, will be housed in a facility named to reflect a similarly unique and lasting partnership with one of the state’s top employers.

The University is undertaking a 22,900-square-foot expansion of the Park Avenue building, which will now be called Kokosing Hall in recognition of a transformative gift from Kokosing Inc.

Headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, Kokosing is one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic.

The gift will support a new learning environment that converges construction management with architecture programing and provides design-build space that promotes greater insight into industry trends, academic programing and engagement leading to co-op internship opportunities, all in a premier facility.

Kokosing has been a longtime supporter of experiential learning opportunities for BGSU students, hosting students in co-op roles for 25-plus years. In addition, Kokosing currently employs nearly three dozen BGSU alumni, including President and co-CEO Wm. Brett Burgett ’01.

“We are incredibly grateful for Kokosing’s longtime support of Bowling Green State University,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “Kokosing Hall, a state-of-the-art-facility, will forever represent their generosity and our shared vision to educate and prepare our graduates of the School of the Built Environment. As a public university for the public good, this transformational gift also represents our commitment to partnering with industry leaders to create and enhance in-demand academic programs to meet Ohio’s workforce needs.”

“Kokosing has expressed a sincere interest in continuing to build a lasting partnership with Bowling Green State University,” Burgett said. “The shared values between Kokosing and BGSU – inclusive communities of care, continuous improvement and growth, and being good members of our communities – make it fitting to name the current Park Avenue building and the upcoming addition Kokosing Hall.”

A state-of-the-art learning environment

Upon its completion, Kokosing Hall will include a 6,500-square-foot innovation lab, a materials and soils lab, collaborative spaces and two digital labs to serve students in both the construction management and architecture and environmental design programs, which together make the School of the Built Environment. 

The new facility and transformative gift from Kokosing will expose students to situations, technologies and experiences that they will encounter in real-world roles through coursework, and also allow for increased engagement with alumni and corporate partners.

"Kokosing Hall will play an important role in recruiting and retaining students and faculty, as well as enhancing student success,” said Joe B. Whitehead Jr., BGSU provost and senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs. "We are deeply appreciative to partner with Kokosing in elevating our academic programming in these high-demand industries.”

A partnership for the state

The newly named Kokosing Hall will house both the construction management and architecture and environmental design programs, a significant step for the School of the Built Environment.

As a result of continuous engagement with Ohio’s workforce needs, BGSU established the School of the Built Environment for students to engage in design-build learning.

After completing immersive and interdisciplinary coursework that infuses design, technical and management education, as well as participating in up to three paid co-ops experiences, graduates typically begin careers in architecture, interior design, entrepreneurship and construction management, among others. 

"Students from each program take several classes together, exposing them to both fields and creating a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the synergies between architecture and construction management, which aligns with the future trajectory of the 'design-build' profession and industry," said Jennie Gallimore, dean of the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering. "BGSU students have long benefitted from Kokosing’s support of our programs through co-op learning experiences. With this gift, all our students will be exposed to an even greater opportunity to learn in-demand skills and graduate career ready.”

Kokosing, which was founded by Bill Burgett and Lester Rinehart in 1951, specializes in industrial, transportation, building, pipeline, water/wastewater treatment and marine construction, in addition to owning construction material supply companies. Known for unwavering integrity and exceptional safety and quality, Kokosing’s companies provide extensive resources for its customers.

The initial groundbreaking for the $10.4 million facility upgrade took place in June 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2023.

The BGSU construction management program is one of only five in Ohio and 72 nationwide that is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education, with a job placement rate of 100% after graduation. The BGSU Department of Architecture, which includes the opportunity for students to pursue a Master of Architecture, is one of only five National Architecture Accreditation Board-accredited programs in Ohio.

Currently, the construction management program is housed in the Technology Building. It will move to Kokosing Hall upon completion of the renovation.

Updated: 03/08/2022 09:59AM