Capital projects exceeding $13 million approved by Board of Trustees

Campus Editor and Campus Editor

By Eric Lagatta

Campus Editor

The Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead to $13.8 million in construction projects to commence within the year.

Greenlighted by the board at its Friday meeting is $12.2 million in renovations to the College of Health and Human Services, as well as $1.6 million in architecture and engineering improvements to Moseley Hall.

The Student Health Center used to be located in the same building as the College of Health and Human Services, but moved to the Falcon Health Center this past summer. This move opened up additional space for Health and Human Services to expand, said Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll.

Planned renovations include replacements to mechanical systems and improvement to the interior.

State funds are estimated to pay for $9.2 million of the project, Stoll said.

The $1.6 million approved for Moseley is just part of a $23.2 million renovation plan. The entire plan includes gutting Moseley to add interdisciplinary labs and classrooms for biology, chemistry and anatomy, as well as other STEM subjects.

Stoll will seek approval for the additional $21.6 million needed for the project at a future board meeting. As of now, she said, her team hasn’t planned sufficiently to present the proposal.

“We still have some work ahead of us until we can confidently present the full scope,” Stoll told the board.

The completion date is targeted for fall 2016.

The board also approved a master’s degree in Applied Geospatial Sciences, which will be offered through the School of Earth, Environment and Society. The program will focus on the use of geospatial tools for solving problems in the natural and social sciences, with an emphasis on energy.

“I think that has great potential in terms of future enrollment,” said University President Mary Ellen Mazey during the meeting.

The Aviation Studies program will also see an update, as the board authorized a partnership between the aviation program and North Star Aviation, Inc.

The partnership charged North Star Aviation with providing flight instruction to aviation students. North Star will operate and own the training department at the Bowling Green Flight Center.

In addition, the Flight Center will build a new hangar and classroom space. The University will continue to oversee the program.

“We will now have students getting degrees that are in high demand,” Mazey said of the change to Aviation Studies and the new master’s degree.

The board also authorized the University to patent a method for 3-D ceramic printing and sell it for commercial purposes, since University professors contributed to its creation.

University professor in the School of Art John Balistreri and his colleagues contributed to this invention. The process allows for the preparation of a ceramic article to a desired shape by the use of a computer-driven device that obtains digital data and deposits layers of relevant ceramic materials.

The on-campus residency requirement will also change to accommodate transfer students. The revised policy makes the requirements to live in residence halls more lenient. For example, it lowers the age requirement from 23 to 20.

The changes better align the University with peer institutions, said Jill Carr, vice president for Student Affairs, as she addressed the board.

“We do not feel this will negatively impact our housing in terms of occupancy,” Carr said. “We firmly believe a two-year on-campus experience [is important].”

The meeting was at Firelands, the University’s branch campus in Huron, Ohio. One board meeting is hosted there each year.

Board members all thanked Firelands for hosting the meetings during remarks.

“We do always enjoy coming to Firelands for our meetings,” said Board Chair Debra Ryan.

The visit was Mazey’s 13th to the branch, she said.

“It feels like home,” she said in closing remarks.

The next meeting is May 9 on the third floor of the Union.