From 10 stories to rubble: Demolition underway on Administration Building

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Since the start of demolition, the Administration Building has been reduced to rubble.

Andrew Bailey and Andrew Bailey

A 15,000 pound wrecking ball dropped on the historic Administration Building at BGSU on Nov. 10, signaling the beginning of the end for the university’s master plan 1.0.

The building was previously the tallest on campus, standing at 10 stories and overlooking downtown Bowling Green. Now, the rooms that previously housed various administrative offices are open-faced and demolition contractor Klumm Bros. is reducing the building to a pile of rubble.

The demolition portion of the process is projected to be finished by Nov. 21, construction superintendent Brian Killian said.

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Demolition will be halted from Dec. 13 to 17 during BGSU’s final exam week, to avoid interference with students finishing their academic semester.

Lot 11 by Founders Hall, a small section of East Court Street and part of Thurstin Avenue — from East Wooster Street to just before the entrance to Lot 7 by the Bowen-Thompson Student Union — will all be closed until Jan. 6.

The goal is to have the dust settled on the site before students return for spring semester, which begins on Jan. 10, 2022.

Killian said the bulk of the project will be 12 to 15 dump trucks transporting rubble to and from the site to be recycled, and clean-up to prepare the space for the construction of the proposed campus gateway.

The proposed gateway will open into the Bowen-Thompson Quadrangle, with University Hall at the opposite end, which is the final step in master plan 1.0.

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BGSU President Rodney Rogers said the gateway will offer a symbolic connection to downtown Bowling Green and hopefully incentivize students of the university to feel more connected to the surrounding community.

Theoretically, a student standing at the intersection of East Court Street and North Main Street and facing BGSU would be able to see University Hall off in the distance, or at least the Quad.

The $1.9 million project was approved by BGSU’s Board of Trustees, with the hopes of recreating the gateway not seen since the 1960s. The Administration Building was built in 1961.

While the old gateway had a road that led to University Hall, the proposed gateway does not have a road, and instead will be more focused on the greenery of the Quad. It will have a water feature — something which the Administration Building had between it and Thurstin Avenue — and fresh landscaping.

The noise produced by the demolition should not be disruptive, Associate Vice President of Planning, Construction and Campus Operations April Smucker said.

“It shouldn’t be heard from much further away than Founders or Shatzel,” she said.

Administrative offices such as the Office of the Bursar and the College of Arts and Sciences were relocated to clear out the building.

The Bursar is now located at the Huntington Center at 1851 Research Dr. on the east side of I-75. The College of Arts and Sciences is now at 374 Central Hall.

The trustees will meet again in December to vote on the design and budget for the gateway, which is expected to be completed in fall 2022.