As published in Toledo Business Journal - May 1, 2017

BGSU’s Hanna Hall

BGSU’s Hanna Hall

Alumni donors drive $49M BGSU College of Business

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is planning a renovation of the 30,000 square foot Hanna Hall, plus a 45,000 square foot addition, to house the College of Business Administration.

Construction of this project is expected to begin in spring or summer of 2018 and cost approximately $49 million, according to vice president of capital planning and campus operations Steve Krakoff.

The BGSU board of trustees has authorized the first $5.7 million of the projected $49 million total cost for design and pre-construction costs to begin the project, which is scheduled for completion in June 2020. The College is currently undergoing the selection process for the architecture and engineering team that will be the final designers of the completed structure, and a contracting team will not be brought on until later this year or next year.

“This goes back to our 2010 Master Plan, much of which was based on reinvesting in the academic core of campus, and in particular doing significant transformative renovations of several of the oldest buildings on campus,” said Krakoff. “Those would be Moseley Hall, University Hall, and Hanna Hall, along with what was – at the time – South Hall, but has since been renamed, and several of the other adjacent buildings near campus. That was sort of the initial action undertaken by the board of trustees. Since then, we’ve pulled together some architects and others to determine the best possible uses of those buildings and concluded that the College of Business, which needed a new building, would be an ideal occupant of Hanna Hall within a renovated building, but we are also set to construct an addition as well.”

The building will be renamed the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center in recognition of a $5 million gift from the two alumni that made this renovation possible. According to the University, the Maurer family owns a broad portfolio of residential and commercial properties throughout northwest Ohio and was eager to play a role in bringing to reality the vision of a cutting-edge facility for BGSU business students.

“We’ve always been involved in buildings, so that certainly appealed to us,” said Robert Maurer, a 1965 accounting graduate who went on to earn a law degree. “But more than anything, we’re convinced that BGSU is on the right track. We have great confidence in the leadership team.

“This is certainly essential, as an investment in the future,” he added. “We have no reservations about supporting this endeavor and helping see to it that Bowling Green State University has the best facilities to educate its students. You can’t overemphasize the importance of that.”

Rendering of the Hanna Hall atrium

Rendering of the Hanna Hall atrium

Eight other alumni families are contributing to the renovation of the building, and the board has approved the naming of classrooms, public spaces, lounges, offices, and other spaces in recognition of their support. These include the William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium; the Sister Mary Noreen Gray, R.S.M. Student Services Hub (a gift of Paul and Margo Hooker); the Michael R. and Mary Lee McGranaghan Dean’s Suite; the Daniel R. and Laura C. Keller Lounge; the David and Shirley Levey Classroom; the David and Lisa M. O’Brien Dean’s Conference Room; the Bruce E. and Kathleen M. Nyberg Conference Room; and the R. Max Williamson Conference Room.

“This is an exciting time in the history of Bowling Green State University,” said BGSU president Mary Ellen Mazey. “Our enrollment is increasing and the tremendous support we are receiving from alumni and friends is helping us continue to build our strength and offer students a memorable education that prepares them well for their careers after college.”

The College is making final plans to move some aspects of the Gish Film Theater, Women’s Center, and any other occupants so that the building is fully vacated long before the start of construction.

“All occupants will be moved out and we will do what is called a gut renovation,” said Krakoff. “All of the double walls and interior, by necessity, will have to be removed from the building. We will leave the structural elements of the building and then renovate around that along with the new construction. The new construction will be physically linked to the existing old building.”

According to Krakoff, the College of Business Administration has been ranked among the top business programs by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Bloomberg Businessweek, while the accounting program is ranked first in Ohio by Bloomberg.

“We think those programs will continue to flourish, and will probably grow to some degree once we complete the project,” he said. “We think what this will do is really establish even more fully the reputation of the College, and it will really continue being one of our signature academic programs.”

Hanna Hall began construction in 1916, but was not completed until 1921 due to material shortages following World War I, and was originally named the Elementary School building. According to BGSU, the founders originally intended for Hanna Hall to serve as an actual elementary school where students could train and hone their skills while working in a classroom.

According to Krakoff, BGSU has accomplished a number of other major construction projects in recent years, including a significant renovation of the Health and Human Services Building, upgraded classrooms throughout the campus core, more than 80 classroom upgrades throughout the main part of campus, a renovation of parts of the Education Building, and significant upgrades to Olscamp Hall.

“We’ve been undergoing a significant transformation of campus buildings really since 2010,” he said.

In fall of 2016, the college also completed a renovation and addition to what was known as South Hall and has since been renamed the Kuhlin Center, which now houses the College of Media and Communications.

Renovations are currently being completed to Moseley Hall and University Hall. Moseley Hall will become a building for undergraduate science teaching labs, due to be completed and opened for fall of 2017. University Hall, which will be a building of classrooms and other student programs, will be completed for occupancy also in the fall of this year.


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