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 cast to them. It will result in better lighting and energy savings, Meyer said. As the university undertakes other projects it is installing more LED lighting, he said.
Also in the works is the creation of a new forensics science lab in the Life Science Building. The building will also get upgraded gas service.
The stadium will get a new boiler, and the recreation center and field house are due for new roofs.
Just like an old house, there are always projects on campus needing to be done. “It’s making sure you’re doing the preventative maintenance and taking care of the buildings” Meyer aid. “They all present some challenges.”
The master plan has also called for the culling of buildings on campus. This coming semester work on the sites where West and Family and Consumer Sciences once stood will be completed.
Harshman is slated to come down in 2018. A few offices still need to be relocated.
Bids are out on the project. “We all have our fingers crossed” on how much those bids will come in at, Meyer said.
Further down the road is the planned demolition of the Administration Building. The goal is 2021.
Meyer said he’s excited about that project. “That will open up the campus to the city of Bowling Green like it would have been in the 1920s, 1930s. That has some real promise to things we can do from a town and gown perspective.”