SSU submits $19.2 million capital request


On Wednesday, Shawnee State University (SSU) submitted a $19.2 million capital request for consideration by state officials.

Higher education institutions throughout the state were asked to submit capital project requests for consideration.

Once the requests are collected they will be considered by the Higher Education Capital Funding Commission for fiscal year 2017-2018.

The commission is comprised of leaders of state institutions of higher education by Governor John Kasich to collaborate on the development of a statewide list of priority capital construction projects.

SSU submitted three projects: rehabilitation and repurposing of the Clark Memorial Library, major renovation and modernization of the Advanced Technology Center and basic renovations of various parts of campus.

The rehabilitation and repurposing of the Clark Memorial Library is valued at $8.7 million, with $7.2 million requested from the state, $500,000 in local funds and $1,000,000 in other funds.

Butch Kotcamp, Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction at SSU said the rehabilitation and repurposing of the Clark Memorial Library is needed.

“Libraries have become more of a place for students to interact and for academic space,” Kotcamp said.

It’s anticipated, with the rehabilitation and repurposing will come enhanced engagement with student services and more space for tutoring and mentoring.

“The library has become the central hub of not only learning resources, but services,” said Elizabeth Blevins, Director of Communications at SSU.

The Clark Memorial Library was built in 1991, SSU did not have housing.

“You could imagine the transitions that the library has gone through. This is a very trendy thing to do (repurposing) and is needed in ours,” Kotcamp said. “This is an opportunity to really expand what’s going on in that building.”

Kotcamp said the library is one of the most used buildings on campus.

He said once the rehabilitation and repurposing is complete the community might be able to take advantage of the space.

One of the goals of the Higher Education Capital Funding Commission is to find ways for campuses to take better care of the buildings they own, rather than building new.

“This is something we’ve tailored our request around and what makes the repurpose of the library perfect. That building is at an age where it’s due for a renovation,” Kotcamp said.

He said the buildings mechanical systems are in bad shape and need to be replaced and it’s more efficient to do all of that work at one time.

The phase two renovation and modernization of the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is valued at $9.5 million. With $8 million requested from the state, $500,000 in local funds and $1 million is other funding.

“The ATC building followed the library, it’s coming to a life cycle. There are a lot of functional changes we would like to see. We would like to utilize that space better, to become more efficient in energy use,” Kotcamp said.

He said once the requests for funding is submitted the commission will review the request. There is a conference call with members of the commission in late January to discuss the request further.

Kotcamp said there is no part of the funding request that’s guaranteed because the commission will consider all requests.

Other items included in SSU’s capital request include $5 million of basic renovations.

For more information about programs and activities at Shawnee State University visit online at www.shwnee.edu.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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