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As published in Toledo Business Journal - February 1, 2020

The front entrance of the Driscoll Center at the University of Toledo

The front entrance of the Driscoll Center at the University of Toledo

UT plans $3.5M Driscoll Center project

The University of Toledo (UToledo) is planning to invest $3.5 million to renovate and repurpose the 38,675 square foot Driscoll Center for beneficial use following the relocation of the University of Toledo Foundation and Alumni Association to the Center for Alumni and Donor Engagement building on Dorr Street.

According to Jason Toth, senior associate vice president, administration, UToledo, the Driscoll Center – following the completion of renovations – will be utilized as a classroom facility to support the Toledo Early College program that is sponsored by the partnership between UToledo and Toledo Public Schools (TPS).

According to TPS, the Toledo Early College program offers a college preparatory program for students in seventh through 12th grades that focuses on college readiness and 21st Century skills. The curriculum is designed to accelerate students into college courses at UToledo. Students begin taking college courses as early as second semester of their eighth grade year.

The south side of the Driscoll Center at the University of Toledo

The south side of the Driscoll Center at the University of Toledo

While still enjoying the high school experience, according to TPS, students can earn an Associate degree from UToledo or 60 or more college credits. Curricular offerings include the AVID program, foreign languages, and symphonic orchestra, as well as extensive extracurricular programs to meet students’ interests. TPS noted that UToledo also offers small classes in a family atmosphere.

“In alignment with the objectives set out in the Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency and the UToledo Multiple Campus Master Plan, we continue to look at ways to improve our facilities and operations. Space reduction and repurposing existing space is driving this particular project,” said Toth.

According to Toth, the facility will receive a full renovation to support the needs of the new programming that will occur in the facility.

“It will include the construction of new classrooms and support spaces within the building, as well as administrative offices, but no additional square footage will be added. Energy efficiency will be targeted as well – as we do on all projects – with inclusion of items like LED lighting, low flow and low flush plumbing fixtures, building automation controls, light harvesting and occupancy sensors, and low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials,” said Toth.

According to Toth, the target construction timeframe for this project is March through July 2020. The Collaborative, based in Toledo, is the architect for the project. The project has not been out for bid yet, noted Toth, so the contractors have not been identified at this point.

“The project will repurpose existing space currently going unused on the main campus. It will also provide newly renovated space to support the partnership between UToledo and TPS. Finally, it will allow UToledo to take space currently used for this program on the Scott Park Campus offline as we continue to look for opportunities for repurposing that campus,” concluded Toth.