By DAVID DUPONT
BG Independent News
The BGSU trustees Friday approved the creation of a School of Engineering within College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering
The trustees also approved spending $4 million for design services for a new home for the engineering and other technology programs.
The college will be reconfigured into three schools – the existing School of the Built Environment, the School of Engineering and Technology, and the School of Aviation.
As part of the reconfiguration three engineering technology programs will be converted into engineering programs.
While technology will rely heavily on applied, hands-on training, the switch to engineering will add more theory and higher mathmore, said Jennie Galli, dean of the college.
Some tech programs, including Visual Communication Technology, will be retained in a division within the School of Engineering. The Masters in Industrial Design and the Quality Systems Program will also be housed in the division.
The Creation of the School of Engineering, Gallimore said, builds up BGSU’s offerings in an area it had not offered before. The first engineering program was systems engineering, which was created in 2020.
There is a great demand for engineers in the area, she said, especially in advanced manufacturing.
The creation of the School of Aviation will increase that program’s visibility, and allow it to grow into other aviation fields. BGSU now offers two degrees in aviation – Aviation Management and Operations and Flight Technology Operations
Aviation is one of the university’s fastest growing programs.
The cost of the reconfiguration is estimated at $9,000.
The trustees also approved moving forward with the design of a new home for engineering and the classroom component of aviation.
The original plan was for the current home of the college to be renovated, but Sheri Stoll, the university’s chief financial officer, said that further examination of the building, which was built in 1971, showed that it needed to be replaced.
“We’ve outgrown it,” Gallimore said.
The university has $16 million in previously appropriated state capital funds on hand for that project. The $4 million in design services will come out of that. The work will commence immediately and with bidding taking place next spring. The new building is scheduled to be completed in summer, 2025.
It will be constructed an adjacent parking lot, so the current facility will continue to be used. The existing structure will eventually be razed to create parking.
In addition to the lab and classroom space, the new building will house the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics, Gallimore said.
The renovation and expansion of Kokosing Hall, the former Park Avenue Warehouse, which is home to the School of the Built Environment is now moving apace, after being delayed because of supply chain problems. The $10.4 million project is scheduled to be ready for move-in by January.
The trustees also approved $1.6 million to pay for the initial planning for the next campus master plan.
The completion of the first master plan was marked on Homecoming weekend with the dedication of the Alumni Gateway.
Now the university is looking toward a new 10-year plan.
Stoll said she expects the projects, yet to be identified, would cost as much as $200 million. The plan would, she said, involved some new construction as well as some demolition.
Other construction items approved were:
- $621,500 from the deferred maintenance reserve to fund the design services to plan and estimate the construction services for the renovation of the Slater Ice Arena. According to the information provided to the trustees, the project is expected to include upgrades to existing building systems, life safety, accessibility, and daily function; upgrades to the locker rooms and restroom renovations; creation of a new mezzanine on the south end of the main rink including private suites, concessions, and a club room; additional spectator seating; the addition of a 1,000 square foot lobby at the west main entrance; and a renovated main entrance providing improved opportunities for trophy display.
- $2.5 million to repair the Library Tunnel, a utility conduit that runs in the alley between Jerome Library and the Fine Arts Center. The tunnel, constructed in 1965, is deteriorating. It contains the primary electrical feed, steam, condensate, and domestic water for the Jerome Library, the Wolfe Center, Moore Musical Arts Center, and the Rec Center. The work includes replacing the rapidly deteriorating tunnel top, piping supports, interior lighting and tunnel wall repairs. The project will be scheduled to take place over three years.