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BSC Campus Improvements & Renovations Update (w/photo)

  • Created
    Wednesday, August 25 2010
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103
Basic_Science_Building Mahood_Hall_Building
Brown-Gilbert Basic Science Mahood Hall

(Bluefield)—Building upgrades and campus renovation projects continue to enhance the efficiency and aesthetics of Bluefield State College.  As summer transitions to fall, the College has several major projects in progress and in process.

A significant renovation of Mahood Hall, the home of the BSC School of Business, has begun.  A state allocation of $5.5 million will be used to underwrite the project, which will include a new roof, elevator, and enhanced lighting throughout the building.  Additionally, classrooms will be designed for more comfort, increased use of technology, and an environment that promotes the teaching/learning experience.  Student study and lounge areas will be enhanced, as well.   Another very significant component of the renovation is the installation of a state-of-the-art heating/air conditioning system that will stabilize temperatures at a comfortable level throughout Mahood Hall.

“After preliminary work, the major portion of the renovation is scheduled to begin by November or December of this year,” noted Shelia Johnson, Vice President for Financial & Administrative Affairs.  School of Business classes and faculty offices have been relocated across campus throughout the 2010-2011 academic year, and several classes will be offered online.  If construction proceeds on schedule, the School of Business will be able to return to Mahood Hall in time for the start of fall semester classes in 2011.”

Another major renovation project involves a complete heating/air conditioning upgrade in the Brown-Gilbert Basic Science Building.  The College has received approximately $850,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and has received notice of approval on a $750,000 loan request through the Higher Education Policy Commission’s Emergency Loan Fund.  BSC will allocate $500,000 toward the $2.1 million dollar project.

“The Basic Science Building project will include an HVAC upgrade in the auditorium and throughout each of the classrooms on the upper three floors,” Johnson added.  “This project will proceed without disrupting the academic process, because installation can take place one or two rooms at a time.  The original HVAC system was approximately 40 years old and the new system is projected to result in more than $40,000/year in energy savings.”

Earlier this year, Bluefield State College was selected as one of 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from across the country to receive a campus improvement grant award from The Home Depot 2010 “Retool Your School” grant program.  BSC was among the 62 HBCUs in competition for the grants.  Selection was based on a combination of the merit of the grant application and the votes cast online in support of each competing institution.  The BSC grant will be utilized to improve landscaping on campus, with new signage, garden spaces, and plants.     

Dr. Tesfaye Belay, a faculty member at Bluefield State College, has been selected to receive a $40,000 “Energy Conservation Grant” from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  The grant will cover the cost of a research project to promote adopting solar energy to illuminate a primary parking area at the College and to train BSC students in solar panel installation technology.  “The project is designed to reach out into the community to increase understanding and utilization of solar energy technology, reduce the College’s electricity costs, and increase students’ knowledge of the principles of solar energy conservation,” noted Dr. Belay, an Associate Professor of Biology at BSC.  “This grant will permit Bluefield State College to illustrate how an energy conservation program can benefit students, administration and community.”

“These projects represent a tremendous commitment by Bluefield State College and the state of West Virginia to improve facilities throughout the campus,” Johnson summarized.  They will promote an environment that makes it easier to teach, learn, work, and enjoy the experience.”