Bowling Green construction covers city, campusWritten by Andrew Farr | | firstname.lastname@example.org
As the city of Bowling Green prepares for the 2010-11 school year, several major construction projects on and off campus may cause inconvenience for the thousands of students returning to the area.
But Steve Krakoff, associate vice president for capital planning and design at Bowling Green State University, said the $200 million net worth of projects on campus represents great progress at the university.
“This is a record amount of work at BGSU and obviously a huge amount of work for a university this size,” Krakoff said.
The university has been busy since September when construction started on the new Stroh Center. The Stroh Center will replace Anderson Arena as the host of BGSU basketball and volleyball and will seat about 5,000 people. The $36 million facility will also host student convocations, graduation ceremonies, concerts and other campus and community events.
In a news release on the Stroh Center groundbreaking, BGSU President Carol Cartwright called the project, “One of the most significant building and remodeling programs in our history.”
Krakoff said construction on the Stroh Center will most likely finish up by summer 2011.
Another new building under construction is the new Wolfe Center for the Arts which will be located along Ridge Street. The Wolfe Center will have some music and art classes, but will mainly support the department of theatre and film. Krakoff said the Wolfe Center is expected to be completed by fall 2011.
Also one year from now, the university expects to open two new dining centers and two new residence halls that are under construction.
While some of these projects won’t cause a huge hassle for students, road construction on Ridge Street in the heart of campus may force students and traffic to take detours. Krakoff said Ridge St. will be repaved and widened with work continuing into the start of the fall semester.
“We’re even adding some sculptures along the side to give the area a new look,” he said. “You’ll never recognize it when it’s done.”
Krakoff said once classes start there will be limited access in the areas around Ridge Street but the university will work to give the best alternate routes to students.
“The result will be a far better academic experience,” he said. “At the end, it’s worth it.”
Another major project going on off campus is road construction on East Wooster Street. The entire road west of the railroad tracks up to about Prospect St. is being repaved and is completely closed off.
City of Bowling Green Public Works Director Brian Craft said the contractor has until Oct. 15, weather permitting, to finish construction on East Wooster Street. Along with paving, sidewalks will be updated and new light poles will be added, but all curb lanes will stay the same and the road will not be widened.
Craft said the city is definitely expecting an increase in traffic, especially as thousands of people begin to return for the fall semester.
“We know it causes some grief and hassle, but I don’t think anyone would argue the benefits that come from having new roads,” he said.
Bowling Green Police are urging people to stay out of the construction zone on East Wooster Street for safety purposes and to avoid citation.