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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 2/23/2013

BGSU student rec center to be revamped; Trustees OK $13.4M project, hike room rate

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

HURON, Ohio — A renovated student recreation center and refashioned space for honors students are among projects approved by the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees.

The $13.4 million recreation center remodel includes a glassed-in entry, mezzanine expansion, new flooring, new restrooms on three floors, updated locker rooms, a larger parking lot, and repairs to the plumbing and electrical systems. The center opened in 1979 and serves the general student population as well as the swim team.

The board unanimously approved the recreation center and other building projects, including nearly $4.3 million in roof work and other maintenance, during a meeting Friday at the university’s Firelands Campus in Huron, said Firelands spokesman Dean Schnurr. University officials have been planning major main campus renovations, including overhauling buildings and demolishing others.

The rec center building requires attention because of its age and maintenance issues, said Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration.

“It’s just getting to the point where we are going to have to start investing in [it],” she said.

The project will be funded through long-term bonds and student general fee facility reserve funds. Future donations also could pay a portion of the project. Work is expected to begin late this summer and finish in fall 2014.

The university will spend $800,000 to transform the first floor of Founders Hall into space for its honors program, which will move from Harshman Quadrangle. An unneeded dining area will be renovated into offices, conference rooms, and classroom space, and residences for honors students also will move into the hall. Construction should be finished by August.

Officials hope the new space will help attract high-performing students to the college. The project is funded by the university’s academic affairs reserve funds.

Renovations in a portion of Olscamp Hall’s second floor will allow the university to test a variety of classroom setups and technologies as it works to implement its master building plan. The $4.8 million project, funded with issued bonds, will be completed by fall. The new “prototype” spaces can be configured in different ways based on classroom needs.

Ms. Stoll called it an “instructional sandbox for students and faculty” to try out furniture arrangements, technologies, and equipment.

The board on Friday also approved a 2 percent increase in meal plan costs and an average room rate hike of 2.37 percent starting with the fall 2013 semester. Officials did not raise meal plan rates the prior year. Officials typically consider tuition rates at the board’s May meeting, Ms. Stoll said.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.



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