BGSU trustees approved spending $3 million for inside & outside building projects

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

Bowling Green State University will spend $1.3 million to renovate nine classrooms in the Moore Musical Arts Center as part of the ongoing effort to create more active learning spaces.

Sheri Stoll, the university’s chief financial officer, said the project will be completed in summer, 2019, and will not require closing the building.

Starting almost a decade ago as part of the Campus Master Plan, the university has scrutinized its inventory of 190 classrooms. It found it had far too many small classrooms, and too few mid-sized rooms that seat 40 to 90 students.

The university is converting traditional classrooms into active learning rooms with flexible seating, updated furnishings, and new technology.

This also involves reducing the number of classrooms to 130. That serves to increase how often those classrooms are used.

Once the Moore project is done, the university will have 127 active learning classrooms. The Moore spaces will seat 40-90 students. 

Once this project has been completed, about 80 percent of the classrooms on campus will be renovated, Stoll said.

Bruce Meyer, vice president for capital planning and campus operations, said once renovated, those rooms will be scheduled through the registrar’s office, and be available for classes offered by he other colleges.

Those rooms are now scheduled by the College of Musical Arts, and are used not just for classes but also as rehearsal spaces for small ensembles.

The board information stated: “Completing classroom renovations and centralized classroom scheduling are essential to enable BGSU to improve overall classroom utilization to at least 70 percent as recommended by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “

The trustees also signed off on a $1.7 million project for waterproofing and masonry repairs to the 50-year-old Offenhauer. The residence hall is three structures, two towers — one 10-stories, the other 11 —  and a one-story connecting structure.

The project, Stoll said, is part of the university’s effort “to nibble away at deferred maintenance.”

In board documents, the administration reported that during an inspection: “(D)eficiencies were discovered in the brick and mortar joints on the facades of all 3 building areas. Deficiencies were also discovered in window sealants and building control-joint seals.”

That work will begin this summer, and then resume and be completed in summer, 2020.

Those buildings, she said, are a popular housing option because they are air conditioned. Most of the residents are sophomores.

Stoll reiterated her belief that: “No one chooses to come because we’ve sealed a leaky window sill, but if we don’t do those things, it can be a contributing factor to students not coming to BGSU.”

Trustees, who were meeting at the BGSU Firelands campus, also approved the naming of two campus spaces.

A room in University Hall will be named the Dr. Joseph F. Castellano and Mrs. Cecilia M. Castellano Counseling Room in honor of the parents of Cecilia A. Castellano and Robert Ashenfelter, Frank and Amy Castellano, and Joe and Jennifer Castellano. 

Joseph Castellano, who retired in May, taught accounting for 30 years at Wright State University and for 20 years previously at the University of Dayton. Cecilia M. Castellano taught junior high school religion and English for more than 40 years.

Their three children all attended BGSU.

Their daughter Cecilia A. Castellano is the BGSU’s vice provost for strategic enrollment planning, and has received two BGSU degrees. Her brother Dr. Frank Castellano attended BGSU before transferring to Wright State University to study medicine. He is a neuroradiologist and president at Columbus Radiology in Columbus. Her other brother, Joe Castellano, earned a bachelor’s degree in technology in 1993. He was part of the 1991 championship football team. He owns the Amber Rose restaurant in Dayton.

Trustees also approved the naming of a  lecture hall in the Fine Arts Center the Hiroko Nakamoto Lecture Hall.

Nakamoto, a 1954 graduate in fine arts and recipient of an honorary doctorate in 1992, has made many contributions to the university in the form of scholarships, endowing a lecture series, giving to the capital campaigns, supporting the Medici Circle, and donating traditional art to the Fine Arts Gallery Collection.

The Fine Arts Center also houses the Nakamoto  Ceremonial Tea Room, which she designed.

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