Trustees approve Stroh Center, renovations

Gina Potthoff and Gina Potthoff

In the first step towards Stroh Center construction, the University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to expand parking Lots 5 and 12. The Stroh Center will be built on what is now Lot 6, the on-campus student parking lot located along Wooster Street, and the 1,250 parking spaces lost will be replaced by expanding the area adjacent to Lots 5 and 12 on Merry Street. University Chief Financial Officer Sherideen Stoll said modifying parking is a part of the campus plan and will keep Stroh Center construction on track. ‘We have current things in that space we have to get out of the way,’ she said. The better parking will also benefit the Wolfe Center for the Arts, which is slated to begin construction April 25. Total parking project costs are estimated at $2,993,194, with $627,427 potential added alternative costs. The board also approved a $1,084,625 McDonald Residence Hall roof replacement, which hasn’t been replaced since the 1980s. They also approved repairs or replacements for other buildings including the Student Health Center, Moore Musical Arts Center, Overman Hall and the skylight in Jerome library. The project costs will total about $1.3 million. The board was given a progress report on the Residence Life and Dining Services Master Plan, examining those services to determine how to best improve and upgrade University offerings. A committee of consultants has been working since January to come up with a plan to improve the student dining and living experience at the University through surveys, personal interviews and focus groups. Steve Krakoff, associate vice president for capital planning and design, said the compact, accelerated 6-month process should have a final plan recommendation June 30. He said they hope to get a thorough and comprehensive sense of what students really want. ‘We would like to get as many people as possible into the BGSU residence halls,’ Krakoff said. But while the plan should be finalized June 30, Joseph Oravecz, associate vice president for Student Affairs, said immediate implementation is not guaranteed. ‘We’re trying to come up with the most financially sound plan,’ he said. ‘When we implement the plan is yet to be seen.’ The board formally approved Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan as one of the University’s Centers of Excellence according to Gov. Ted Strickland’s plan for higher education, allowing universities in Ohio to designate their educational areas of expertise. Trustee Robert Sebo announced the conclusion of the Building Dreams Campaign that raised $146,533,152 for the University; $46 million of which will create 540 new scholarships, he said. Cartwright announced the new Family Fundraising Campaign has already raised $63,000 with 40 percent participation, which is better than this time last year. ‘This year’s focus is on scholarships,’ Cartwright said.