by Brianna Crandall — July 28, 2017 — College students today learn and consume media in much different ways than past generations, points out global professional and real estate services firm JLL. And as students’ learning behaviors evolve, so must their learning environments. Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in northwest Ohio is reportedly dedicated to this change and has taken action with the now-open Kuhlin Center, a cornerstone of the $200 million master plan set in motion by BGSU and program manager JLL.
The master plan delivers next-generation teaching and learning spaces throughout the university’s revitalized campus while efficiently managing BGSU’s costs and maximizing satisfaction for students and faculty alike.
In the academic-focused phase of the ambitious long-term initiative, BGSU is renovating, constructing, demolishing or significantly upgrading more than a dozen buildings across campus, including the Kuhlin Center, home to the School of Media and Communication. Opened to students in fall 2016, the Kuhlin Center was renovated to foster innovation and includes production and broadcast studios, as well as a convergence lab for students to collaborate across media platforms.
These academic-focused improvements build on the accomplishments of the student services phase of the plan completed in 2011. In that phase, JLL helped BGSU deliver more than 1,300 new beds in student resident halls and complete two new standalone dining centers. These projects helped BGSU achieve increased enrollment and supported BGSU’s financial goals by eliminating more than $2 million in budget overages on the construction of the dining centers.
Steve Krakoff, vice president, Capital Planning and Campus Operations, BGSU, noted:
The way students learn is evolving. It isn’t just about sitting in chairs and listening to a lecture. It’s about embracing new ideas, technology and collaboration. Our new and renovated studios, laboratories and classrooms are designed to shape learning experiences in hands-on ways. Partnering with JLL has helped us successfully transform our facilities and boost our campus’s appeal, without wavering from our core mission of educating students.
Reimagining BGSU’s learning spaces
With a theme of “Traditions to Tomorrow,” BGSU is upgrading classrooms campus-wide with the latest technology and designs to support an active learning style. With JLL’s support, BGSU is well on its way with ambitious academic projects:
- Moseley Hall is set to reopen for the fall 2017 semester, equipping first- and second-year students with state-of-the-art biology and chemistry labs to address the State of Ohio undergraduate requirements for STEM courses. As BGSU’s master plan program manager, JLL guided the team through the challenges of repurposing a historic building. The finalized renovation will feature modern, flexible labs within the 100-year-old masonry structure.
- University Hall will offer an immersive new admissions space welcoming prospective students to BGSU when the building opens in fall 2017. The neoclassical building has long represented the traditional heart of the university, but the outdated space was underutilized. The modern renovation preserves its architectural integrity, while providing a new focal point for admissions, student support services and learning. Beyond collocating student support functions, the building also features new active learning classrooms as part of BGSU’s transformation of its learning spaces.
- Hanna Hall will undergo a major renovation to create a new culture of engagement and innovation for the College of Business Administration. BGSU aims to enrich the student and faculty experience with cutting-edge innovation labs, active learning classrooms, collaboration spaces and a high-tech trading lab. As program manager, JLL is guiding BGSU through the programming, planning and conceptual design of the new facility, which will house BGSU’s nationally ranked College of Business.
Jon Kolp, vice president, Project and Development Services group, JLL, commented:
We’re very pleased to collaborate with BGSU and be an active part of the campus transformation. These improvements strengthen the campus community, support a culture of collaborative learning, and demonstrate BGSU’s passion for enriching the overall student experience. Not only is BGSU giving students an even greater chance to develop critical professional skills, but the master plan puts BGSU ahead in the growing competition to attract the best prospective students and faculty.
New centralized regional chiller plant
BGSU also completed significant infrastructure upgrades on schedule to support the 2016 cooling season. Improvements include a new centralized regional chiller plant, which allows for the safe and efficient operation of multiple buildings. Now a second regional chiller plant is underway, along with major electrical upgrades, to support the growing demands on the infrastructure brought by modern renovations.
JLL’s Higher Education services help colleges and universities uncover innovative solutions to address their biggest challenges and achieve financial and recruitment goals, with services ranging from securing private-public partnerships to finance development projects that produce revenue, to reducing operating costs through outsourced facilities management (FM).