The facility is now nearly twice its original size.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Bowling Green State University students returning to campus from holiday break will have one more rather large present waiting for them at midnight on Sunday.
That's when the Bowen-Thompson Student Union at BGSU will open after being closed two years for renovation and expansion. The facility has nearly doubled in size to 210,000 square feet.
"This is an historic day for this institution," said Dr. Ed Whipple, vice president for student affairs. "We expect the union to quickly re-establish itself as the heart and soul of the university."
The university community will gather outside at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday before a celebratory opening of the doors to the union kicks off with fireworks at midnight.
Funding: The nearly $34 million project used no state dollars. More than $6 million in private contributions from alumni, corporate sponsors and friends of the university were collected to help cover the costs.
The largest gift, $3 million, came from BGSU alumni Robert and Ellen Bowen Thompson of Plymouth, Mich. The new student union bears their name. The remainder of the cost is being financed through $24 million in bonds and $4 million from reserves of auxiliary business units operating student union.
The new student union includes meeting rooms, space for an array of retail services including the University Bookstore, a convenience store, post office and three ATMs, several lounge areas, a 250-seat movie theater/auditorium, state-of-the-art microcomputer lab, food court, restaurant-coffeehouse, ballroom and offices for student organizations and services.
Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana county has about 1,600 students and alumni of BGSU.