Hanna Hall

Winter break doesn’t chill BGSU’s building plans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A “whirlwind” doesn’t take a break. “If you like it where there’s a lot going on, a lot of action, it’s a great place to work,” said Bruce Meyer, the interim director of capital planning and campus operations. “It’s just a whirlwind.” Meyer stepped into his new role, after the death this fall of Steve Krakoff. Meyer had been assistant vice president for campus operations. That puts him at the center of implementing Bowling Green State University’s master plan. While most of campus may have been dormant and in a deep freeze over the holidays, work on the master plan continued apace. Crews tore up Lot A, just east of Hanna and University halls. The work is the first step in transforming Hanna Hall into the new home for the College of Business. Meyer said that crews relocated water and gas lines as well as some fiber optics cables. By the first day of classes, though, the lot was open again, shy a few spaces. “I was a little concerned about the weather,” he said. The cold was more problematic than the snow. “Hats off for the team who worked on Lot A. They did a nice job in some difficult conditions to get that open.” While the lot will have a slight decrease in number of spaces, that’s been made up by re-opening Lot 11 on Thurstin, which had been closed during the demolition of West Hall and the Family and Consumer Science building. This is Hanna Hall’s last semester, Meyer noted. Come the end of the academic year, fences will go up as work starts in earnest on the expansion and renovation of the 1921 building into the Maurer Center. “We’re in the schematic design stages of the building,” he said. The plan is to have the project ready for occupancy for the fall, 2020 semester. At the end of this semester, facilities in Hanna Hall will have to be moved into new spaces. That includes the Gish Film Theater going into the theater space in the student union, and the Women’s Center settling into Hayes Hall. The Capital Planning office determines where programs will go and what work is needed to accommodate those offices. Once done the Mauer Center will serve as “a cornerstone” for campus, presiding over the corner of East Wooster and College Street. It will complete a line of “traditions buildings,” along with University and Moseley, which were extensively renovated and opened in new form in fall, 2017. The plan calls for a tree-lined promenade leading into campus along the east side of Hanna, University and Moseley. Part of the renovation was creating more inviting east entrances to both buildings. “We really cleaned that up,” he said. “The transformation has really been remarkable.” The future Maurer Center is not all that Meyer and his staff are working on. Once the weather breaks new lighting in the campus core near Williams and Shatzel halls will be changed to LED lighting. Meyer said the lights will be bought and installed thanks to $250,000 from the Green Fund, which students voluntarily pay into. It’s the largest disbursement from the fund, he said. The university is paying for the study and engineering work. The new lights will have more of a white…

Hanna Hall to get new name & purpose as Maurer Center, home for BGSU College of Business Administration

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Another century-old property on the Bowling Green State University is about to get a make-over thanks in part to a lawyer who owns a lot of property around Bowling Green. The BGSU Board of Trustees Friday took the first steps to begin the $44.8 million project to convert Hanna Hall in the new home of the College of Business Administration. The trustees approved spending $5.7 million in design and pre-construction services. These services include moving a fiber optic cable. The trustees also approved the naming of the building the Robert W and Patricia A. Maurer Center in recognition of a “transformational gift” of $5 million toward the project. The design work will begin later this year with the 22-month construction phase beginning in 2018. The building will open in fall, 2020. Robert Maurer, who graduated from BGSU in 1965 with a degree in accounting before studying law at the University of Toledo, is a partner in partner of Maurer, Newlove, & Bakies. He and his wife own a number of commercial and residential properties in Bowling Green and the area. Maurer told the trustees that he viewed the gift as “an investment.” He expects that investment will pay dividends not just to the university, but to the city of Bowling Green, the state and even the nation. “We’re proud to be part of it.” Mrs. Maurer also attended BGSU.   The background information on the Maurer Center provided to the trustees states: “The over-arching goal of the building interior is to create an active space for faculty, students, and business professionals to engage, collaborate and grow. Interior spaces are visually accessible to each other, promoting interaction and awareness. Classrooms, labs, offices and collaboration spaces are intermixed on each floor in order to activate each level of the building and encourage informal and spontaneous learning.” “This is just going to be incredibly cool,” said Sheri Stoll, vice president for administration and finance. “This is not going to be your buttoned-down, blue-suited college of business building. Think Pixar, think Disney.” The current College of Business Administration will remain an academic building, said University spokesman Dave Kielmeyer. The university expects to fund the project in part with $16 million in private gifts. Three major donations by alumni were made for major spaces within the building. Peggy Schmeltz donated $2 million dollars for the William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium. The late William Schmeltz had served as dean of the college. Paul and Margo Hooker donated $2 million to create the Sister Noreen Gray Student Success Hub. The hub is named for his aunt who after serving in World War II as a WAVE became a nun. She taught in the Toledo Public Schools and later worked in a Jamaican orphanage. Michael and Mary Lee McGranaghan, donated $1 million to create the dean’s suite in honor of current Dean Raymond Braun. The project will also benefit from gifts from four members of the board of trustees – Chair David Levey, Daniel Keller, David O’Brien, and Bruce Nyberg. Also donating to the project is R. Max Williamson, who chairs the BGSU Foundation Board of Directors. Following recognition of the donors, Levey said: “I want to assure everyone in the audience, there are still rooms in the building.” And…

Gish Theater, Hanna Hall should be preserved

Professors emeriti Wally and Diane Pretzer argue for preserving Hanna Hall & Gish Film Theater. Is history important? We think that it is. The current BGSU administration, headed by President Mary Ellen Mazey, apparently does not think so. Some of us objected,a few years ago, to the demolition of the unique house on the corner of East Wooster and South College, built from a Montgomery Ward kit, which had served the Department of Popular Culture for a number of years. President Mazey takes great pride in the Health Center now located there; it could have been constructed elsewhere on campus. But, when the current administration dictates, the Board of Trustees falls into submission. Progress is, of course, important; however, when it thoughtlessly pushes history aside, one can become discouraged. What has, we think, become an egregious dismissal of history is the eventual planned demolition of a gem — namely the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. This gem encompasses not only the theater itself (formerly 105 Hanna Hall) but also the accompanying gallery of memorabilia honoring the Gish sisters’ achievements, and the Ralph Wolfe Viewing Center. It is certainly possible that Dean Ray Braun of the College of Business Administration, which is scheduled to take over a remodeled Hanna Hall, could approve of keeping the Gish complex in its current location as a treasure in shared space. It is also possible that the College of Business Administration could happily occupy a building elsewhere on campus, leaving the most traditional BGSU buildings, Hanna, University, and Moseley Halls, retaining their focus on the arts and sciences. The current university administration’s focus is clearly only on business; might President Mazey want neon lights along East Wooster to point out the relocated College of Business Administration, thus diminishing the importance of the arts and sciences? It would be helpful, we hope, if others would speak for and write about preserving the Gish Film Theater and its related aspects in their present location. Make an appointment to talk with President Mazey and/or Provost Rodney Rogers, or send an e-mail, or write a letter in support of this preservation. Wally and Diane Pretzer Bowling Green