BGSU & contractors take green approach to demolition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University constructs buildings with a sense of environmental awareness. The university requires all new structures meet LEED Silver standards, and some including the Stroh Center, and Greek Village exceed that standard, said Ryan Miller, senior project manager in the Office of Design. He’s hoping with a few changes, the Kuhlin Center will also gain the gold designation. When buildings come down, the university and its contractors also try to be environmentally aware. Right now Miller, who worked on the Student Recreation Center renovation and the Wolff Center among other projects, is overseeing the demolition of West Hall and the Family and Consumer Science Building. By the time students arrive on campus next August there will be empty space where the two buildings stood. Miller said that the university’s design consultants and contractors are attuned to LEED principles. The demolition isn’t a LEED project, but as in those projects, the contractors are aiming to recycle and reuse as much material as possible. The original plan was to take brick and concrete from the buildings, crush it onsite, then use it as engineered fill in the basements of the razed structures. Instead in order to save time, the contractors will truck it to the landfill for construction waste and trade it for engineered fill that’s already stockpiled there. That fill will have to meet engineering approval, Miller said. The holes will be filled up to five feet from flush to the ground. Then soil will be laid on top. Miller said a landscape architect said that’s what’s required to plant trees on the…

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What’s happening in your community (updated June 27)

NEWLY POSTED: Tree No Leaves at Grounds, July 1 Tree No Leaves will perform a free show Saturday, July 1, at 8 p.m. at Grounds for Thought. The band will release its EP and live recording for the first time on CD at event. Singer-songwriter Justin Payne will perform between the band’s two 45-minute sets.   NEWLY POSTED: Post Office’s role in WWI subject of museum program, July 13 Communication was key during the First World War – on the field as well as keeping those back home informed about their loved ones. Join us for a special program about the role of the Post Office in WWI with special guest Gary Levitt, Curator of the Museum of Postal History in Delphos, Ohio, one of only three museums in the United States dedicated to postal history. The program and tea will be held Thursday, July 13, 2017, 2:00-4:00 PM, at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum, 13660 County Home Road, in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Museum is handicap accessible. Reservations are needed by Friday, July 7 by calling 419-352-0967 or visiting woodcountyhistory.org, and payment is due within two weeks of making a reservation. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for Wood County Historical Society members, and $5 for children age 10 and under. Admission includes tea, light refreshments catered by Mike Zaborniac, and the program. The museum is also open for self-guided tours. This program is part of a monthly tea series hosted by the Wood County Historical Center & Museum. A complete list of teas and other programs can be found at woodcountyhistory.org. The theme of WWI corresponds with the museum’s current exhibit Over There! Send Word, the…


Wood County fights to retain $900,000 in sales tax

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Commissioners are worried they are about to get the short end of the sales tax stick. And that could mean $900,000 less coming into the county each year. The issue is rather confusing, but here goes. Since 2010, the state of Ohio and its counties have been collecting sales tax from Medicaid Managed Care organizations, which provide medical services and equipment. Those sales taxes brought in about $597 million a year for Ohio and other $200 million for counties. But in 2014, the federal government decided that the Medicaid sale tax was not proper. Ohio was told it either had to apply the sales tax to all managed care – not just those serving Medicaid clients – or to none. The feds also objected to the fact that since the U.S. government pays at least 60 percent of Ohio Medicaid costs, it was basically paying an indirect federal subsidy to Ohio. Now here’s where it gets even more confusing – and frustrating to local officials. Gov. John Kasich asked and received a waiver on the sales tax that will make the state whole. In fact, the state may bring in a bit more – $615 million a year. The problem is, Kasich failed to include counties in on the waiver. The governor’s budget will reimburse counties a portion of the sales tax revenue for one year – but then counties are on their own. “It only corrected the state’s problem,” said Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar. “It leaves the counties out. They need to adjust that formula to fix everyone’s…


BGSU budget calls for tuition increase

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Faced with uncertainty over the final state budget, the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees approved a $416.2 million budget Thursday morning That includes a 2-percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition and general fees and 2.5-percent increase for in-state graduate tuition and general fees. The out-of-state surcharge for both graduate and undergraduate students will remain the same. This is the first time since 2013 that the university has raised tuition. The increase represents a hike of $105 per semester starting this fall. That brings tuition and general fees to $5,400, up from $5,295. The tuition increase is expected to bring in an additional $2,433,414 and the graduate tuition increase is $430,135. The trustees acted while budget negotiations continue in Columbus. Legislators are trying to reconcile spending plans passed by the House and Senate. The legislation must be signed by Gov. John Kasich by June 30. “The number of unknowns in this budget cycle exceeded the knowns,” Sheri Stoll, vice president for finance and administration, said. Based on the current proposals, BGSU officials are planning on no increase in state support for two years. But the budget would allow colleges and universities to raise tuition by $10 per credit hour. On the spending side, the budget includes a 4.1-percent increase in the amount allocated for salaries for faculty. That money is placed in a pool and allotted based on a number of factors. The pool for administrators and staff not in the bargaining unit will be 2 percent. The BGSU increase will amount to $8.75 per credit hours. The state proposal also allows colleges…


Fitness trail links Simpson park to Conneaut sled hill

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   From Conneaut Avenue, it almost looks like a new playground. But there are no slides, no swings, no climbing structures. This is a different kind of playground – one made for adults who want an extra challenge as they walk, run or bicycle past. On Wednesday afternoon, the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, Wood County Hospital and the City of Bowling Green officially dedicated the fitness trail and exercise station. The trail, which runs through hospital property, connects Simpson Garden Park and Conneaut sledding hill. The exercise equipment is located in the empty lot along Conneaut Avenue, just north of the hospital’s rehabilitation center. Representatives of the hospital, chamber and city parks talked about how teamwork made the fitness trail possible. “I’ve been here 20 years,” said Stan Korducki, president of Wood County Hospital.  “And I remember talking to people about how Bowling Green was different.” That difference was the desire to work together to make life better for citizens. “I hadn’t seen that in other communities,” Korducki said. The hospital decided to tear down the weathered big blue house that sat along Conneaut Avenue, which left a green space with old stone fences. Since one of the hospital’s missions is to encourage people to be more active, the decision was made to tie Simpson Garden Park and the sledding hill together. “This just seemed to be the right thing to do,” Korducki said. Kristin Otley, director of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, remembered checking out the fitness equipment for placement in a city park. “Literally the next day I…


Library outlives perceived threats from technology

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In the 1950s, local librarians feared that libraries could soon be obsolete. “What are we going to do with these paperback books? Is this going to be the end of the library?” Michael Penrod, the current executive director of the Wood County District Public Library, said about his predecessors. But libraries survived paperbacks and so much more. Videos, DVDs, internet, e-books. None of that has doomed libraries, Penrod said earlier this week during a brainstorming session for the library board on the facility’s vision, mission, core values and core services. The library continues to be a place where people come for education and entertainment. “The library is still a destination,” said Brian Paskvan, president of the library board. Penrod said he didn’t want the board to experience “paralysis by analysis,” so he didn’t present lists of statistics. However, he did say the door counts and check-outs remain strong. “Library use has hit an all time high,” he said. So the question now is – how to keep those numbers strong. There are a lot of external issues that could impact the library. The senior center will be moving from next door to a new site. The city schools plan to consolidate the elementaries. And funding is never a complete certainty. “There are lots of external influences,” Paskvan said. To make sure the library remains a vital partner in the community, a survey will soon be conducted to determine community expectations and needs. Shannon Orr, a political science professor at Bowling Green State University, and her students will conduct the survey. Orr has…


Nothing old about these new senior center ideas

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In the front room, bingo players listened as letters and numbers were called out. In the balcony area, ladies sat around a table playing cards. And in the dining room, anyone interested was plotting out the future of the senior center. “Today’s purpose is to talk about a dream,” said Denise Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging, as she set the stage for the brainstorming session. Last month, it was announced that Bowling Green was giving the committee on aging land for a new senior center, and that Wood County would secure financing for the project. The property was formerly used for the school district’s central administration building, between South Grove and Buttonwood streets, south of West Wooster Street. For more than 35 years, the senior center has been housed in the postal service’s hand-me-down building on North Main Street. A new building offers the hope of a reliable elevator, ample free parking, and plenty of space so yoga classes don’t have to be held in the same room as seniors are getting help preparing their taxes. So on Tuesday, the first of two public input sessions was held. The next one will be June 27, at 6:30 p.m., in the senior center. The preliminary plans call for the new senior center to be two stories, with 25,000 square feet. That compares to the current center size of 14,500 square feet. Also unlike the current site, the new will have ample parking, with at least 87 spaces and none will be metered. “We’ve tried to have no preconceived…