Filed Under (BGSU Topics) by Casey Cooper on 11-02-2011

Program Statement Eppler Complex

Improvements to Eppler Complex: Redesign the interior to make the entrance into the building more appealing and pleasant, as well as the hallways. When one walks through the complex maze that is Eppler they are lucky to see a window to the outside and when they do it is a small square placed up high. It feels like walking through a jail when you enter Eppler. It is very plain and drab. The lounges they have for students aren’t very comfortable and welcoming either. The layout is just a mess. Try going to an office on the first floor and you’ll notice that a small loop has been carved off the normal hallway with offices inside of this loop. It is very odd and peculiar. I have never once seen a building not for an art center so complex and confusing. Judging by the perception of most students in our TLEP4830 class Eppler is confusing. These are students who frequently use the facility too. If this is the case then a survey should be conducted on a wider scale to all those who have used Eppler before. I am fairly positive that a majority will come back with the results of being complex or confusing. I recommend changing the lighting to LED to provide a brighter yet more energy efficient source. I would also paint the walls a more natural color besides the bland off white/taupe that they currently are. Windows would be a nice addition where possible and also make sure they are large. For the lounges I would put in actual furniture instead of the linked chairs and end tables. It gives the appearance of a seat of ballpark seat linked in a group of 4 with no arm rests or table in front of you. It just is not a welcoming environment. Another possibility would be to open up the offices to feel like more of a wing of the building by removing the center offices that create the loop. A central large desk would be able to fill the void of those offices removed but would create a more open and friendly environment. The mailroom could also be used as an additional office if the mailboxes are relocated behind the central desk. This could even be handled by the secretary at her desk instead of having to leave her small office.

Program statements are vital to a construction project because it lays out the groundwork for what you want to accomplish. It essentially is the blueprint that goes to the designer so that they have some guidelines to follow while putting together what it is you wish to accomplish. This can include ADA compliance codes, lighting requirements, eco-friendly requests, special build requests, etc. Anything and everything you would want to see done needs to be laid out in the program statement.

Filed Under (BGSU Topics) by Casey Cooper on 11-02-2011

While walking around campus and checking out the ADA compliance of the buildings I noticed a few things that stuck out both positive and negative.

Ramps leading into buildings
Braille on all signs inside the buildings
Drinking fountains with cut-outs in front for wheelchair access
Automatic doors at all flat or ramped entrances
Elevators in all buildings with multiple floors
Pool access for the handicapped
Motion sensors to open some doors on campus
Flat campus with easy access to classes
Desks in large lecture halls to allow for wheelchairs
Disability Services office on campus
Sidewalks that have a ramp at the corners of street intersections
Grip on the ramps of sidewalks

Disability Services office is on the 4th floor of South Hall
Vending machines don’t have Braille
Anderson Arena seating is very tough for handicapped
Fraternity and Sorority houses in the Conklin units and Sorority row have no wheelchair access
Eppler has uneven floor levels making the center entrance the only access point for wheelchairs
Small number of ground level dorm rooms
Ramps are not always completely cleared of snow and ice
Lines for food can often be too tight for wheelchairs to move through
Bookstore with 2 levels makes one in a wheelchair have to split it into 2 different stops as there is no ramp or elevator within the store
Building layouts are not always straight forward and have centralized elevators which can make getting around in a wheel chair a difficult task

Our campus is very good about complying with ADA Standards however there is still more to do. Nothing will ever be perfect when rules and regulations are constantly changing but there are many different things that can be changed and should be changed. Having a Disability Services office in one of the older buildings on the 4th floor hardly seems appropriate. There has got to be room in another building with easier access. The fact that the land is relatively flat helps a lot. Some universities are built in such a manner that you have to climb up and down stairs all day in order to get around campus. There is a reason Western Kentucky University is known as the Hilltoppers. Their campus is built on a large hill that is not too friendly for those who are in a wheelchair. Also think about the famous scene from Rocky in which he runs up the giant set of stairs. I didn’t see a ramp there. Bowling Green is lucky to benefit from the flat surface of the campus. Now the university needs to focus in other ways to better help comply with ADA Standards.


Filed Under (BGSU Topics) by Casey Cooper on 10-02-2011

I wasn’t too sure what all Capital Planning involved until this particular presentation by Bob Waddle and two of his colleagues. After listening to what all they had to say I understood that there is still a large amount of cost cutting involved in a project even when the budget exceeds 30 million dollars. The Stroh Center having a roof structure that wouldn’t allow for a catwalk system struck me as odd because that also means you wouldn’t be able to have the typical large center court scoreboard most arenas have. This was a cost cutting technique for the structure of the roof. I personally do not agree with it as now the scoreboards have to be placed all around the arena and don’t quite give it the feel you would expect from a high dollar new venue. I have been to a game at the other Bowling Green (Western Kentucky University) and they have a central scoreboard as well as others around in each corner. Their facility the “Diddle” was built in 1963 but underwent a 32 million dollar renovation in 2002. They have fluctuated in seating from the original 8,500 up to over 13,000 and now back down to 8,000. They also have 16 luxury suites. I feel that this is something that BGSU could have used as a base point to go off of. I understand that it wouldn’t need to be as big but there is no reason why the facilities can’t rival a school comparable in size. My absolute favorite basketball arena for college is the Cintas Center at Xavier University. Coupled with a very strong basketball program and a noisy atmosphere it was ranked as the 3rd toughest place to play on the road in 2009 by EA Sports. Growing up in Cincinnati with my mom going to UC and my dad going to XU college basketball has always been big. So when I see the Stroh Center being built it gets me excited for what is to come for BGSU. I just hope that eventually they can use the state of the art facility to put together a strong and exciting team for years to come. The new basketball court itself will be very nice and hopefully the acoustics of the arena allow it to be deafening to the opposing team. I am sure that with the compromises that needed to be made it will all work out fine. The outer flooring of the court didn’t need to be of the same high cost and high quality material as the actual flooring in play. The color contrast also will look very nice. Also the full-size auxiliary gym will be vital to ensuring that both men’s and women’s teams are able to practice as much as possible as per NCAA rules without worrying about sharing or splitting court time.