Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green,

Student Union Program Verification & Economics Analysis

In 2015 Bowling Green State University selected B&D and Moody Nolan to analyze the potential renovation and/or expansion of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union (BTSU). The university desired to move a number of operations into the BTSU, which would enhance its functionality while also facilitating the implementation of various campus master plan developments. One key element consisted of the potential creation of a co-located Student Services Suite that would include elements from the Office of the Bursar, Office of Registration & Records, and Student Financial Aid operations in one central location in support of providing students and parents with an efficient and enhanced customer service experience. We held a series of meetings with each of these three departments and with other stakeholders and student services that were under consideration for inclusion in the building. Through these meetings, the team gained an understanding of the working environment in which each department existed, and engaged in detailed discussions about what these administrators believed was working and what required improvement. Additionally, our team was able to establish the ideal adjacencies both internally and externally for each department. Next, our team made adjustments to the university’s initial program of architectural requirements. The team then facilitated discussions with each department to review their feedback and ultimately finalize the program. The analysis also included a preliminary assessment of utilization and quantities of BTSU meeting spaces and a benchmarking tour. Finally, our team created three renovation and/or addition strategies. An economic model was developed for each option to assess economic impacts to BTSU operations. The model contained an operating pro forma, building operating expense and revenue projections, debt service payments, and a development budget inclusive of all costs associated with renovation and new construction for each option. The economic impact to BTSU operations provided the university with the ability to make a strategic decision on the renovation and addition options, considering programmatic needs, alignment of appropriate services, and economic realities.