By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Six years ago, the Falcon hockey program was teetering on the edge of the BGSU budget chopping block.
But today, the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to spend $2.7 million to keep the operation on ice. The money will pay for a new ice plant and replacement of the concrete floor under the main and auxiliary ice at the Ice Arena on Mercer Road.
There was no debate about spending the money – with it being noted that the BGSU hockey team is ranked 14th in the nation this year.
The concrete floor and ice plant are original to the Ice Arena, which was built in 1967. The facility saw its first upgrade in 1989 with expansion of the seating area, then in 2001 with some office and lounge space being added.
In 2010, some roof, gutter, restroom, humidity and lighting changes were made, and later the parking lot and sound system were improved. There were upgrades to the locker rooms, concession area and awnings added out front.
And this year, hockey fans will notice a new video score board in the arena.
The ice plant and concrete will have to wait until next summer to be replaced, so the work doesn’t interrupt hockey season.
Sheri Stoll, BGSU vice president of finance, stressed the need for the improvements. “Our operating costs will increase significantly” if the work isn’t done, she told the trustees.
Though the university is prepared to pay for the projects, Stoll said donations are always welcome. “We’d be happy to accept any private donations for this,” she said.
Also at Friday’s meeting, the BGSU Trustees approved $9.4 million in improvements to the East Campus and central electrical load centers. Stoll described the project as “mission critical.” The work will remain “invisible” to the public, but failure of the 60-year-old electrical load centers would be “extremely” bad, she said.
Stoll said the state is expected to pay for $7.2 million of the project, $750,000 would come from residential life funds, and $1.5 would be long-term debt.
The trustees also approved a $3 million ductwork project in the Moore Musical Arts Center, which would improve humidity levels and qualify the building for a “Steinway” designation. The work will require that no staff or students be in the building at the time, so it is planned for May through July of 2017. The funding is expected to come from the state capital budget.
Also at the meeting, Stoll reported that during the December trustees meeting, she will be presenting a request to borrow $35 million for capital projects. Trustee Jim Bailey complimented BGSU officials for being able to complete projects on time and in budget.
Stoll credited the success to a “tremendous amount of discipline and hard work.”
Barbara Waddell, chief equity and diversity officer at BGSU, was praised for her work on campus. She talked about the “It’s On Us” program that creates awareness about sexual assaults, the “We Are 1 Team,” that promotes social justice through sports, and the “Not In Our Town” program that stands for equity and inclusion.
“In a world that is a bit of a mess,” Waddell’s leadership has made the campus a better place, Bailey said. Waddell is retiring next month.
Trustee Megan Newlove praised Monica Moll’s work as BGSU police chief. “She’s left this place better than she found it,” Newlove said. Moll has accepted the position of police chief at Ohio State University.
Also at the meeting, Leslie Galan of the Administrative Staff Council, and Linda Hamman of the Classified Staff Council, talked about efforts to set up a food pantry for students with “food insecurity.” The pantry would make food and toiletries available to students in need.
“You don’t want to embarrass the students, but it needs to happen,” Galan said of the food pantry.
In other business, the trustees:
- Agreed to sell the sorority house at 129 S. Prospect St. With the new Greek Village housing on campus, there is no longer need for this site. The house has been appraised at $180,000, and a buyer has been located. However, since the deal is not complete, the buyer’s name was not revealed.
- Removed the “Dallas” portion of the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and changed it to the Scott and Tracie Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. According to Shea McGrew, president and chief executive of the BGSU Foundation, William Dallas had experienced some changes in his life, and had only partially fulfilled his monetary pledge to the center.
- Dedicated a room at the new Sigma Phi Epsilon house as the Carlton Schooley Living Room. Schooley has been a chapter adviser to the fraternity and has assisted with the organization for more than 50 years.
- Named the Robert and Mary Stanton Audio Recording Center in the new Kuhlin Center. When he attended BGSU, Robert Stanton spun records at the recording center.
- Named a classroom in the Education Building the Muriel Hutchinson Strebe Active Learning Classroom. Strebe taught school for 35 years.
- Approved an easement to Columbia Gas of Ohio along Dunbridge Road, near the BGSU Research Park.
- Learned that Jordan Cravens had been given the Rookie of the Year Award by the Administrative Staff Council.