Maag Library $1.1M Renovation Planned in Anticipation of Kilcawley Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The project to reduce the size of the Kilcawley Center will require a $1.1 million renovation to the Maag Library.

Youngstown State University was approved by the controlling board of the state of Ohio Monday to move $1 million from the Cushwa Hall Allied Health Renovations fund, which the university has decided is no longer needed, into a fund for the renovation of the Maag Library. Additionally, YSU requested to be allowed to spend $128,762 from the Maag Library Learning Commons fund for the design of the project and contingencies.

The project will allow the Resch Academic Success Center and Accessibility Services, currently housed at Kilcawley, to have a new home at Maag Library.

YSU plans to award the $122,200 design and architectural contract to the Cleveland firm,  Bostwick Design Partnership Inc., the same organization that designed recent renovations at the Youngstown Main Library. Bostwick’s proposal was one of 13 reportedly received by YSU and one of four firms interviewed for the project. Four of the firms submitting a proposal were from Youngstown.

Although he is familiar with their work, Richard M. White, director of planning/construction at YSU, said he does not believe the university has used the services of Bostwick much through the years.

White said Bostwick will be asked to redesign the third and fourth floors of Maag. Once completed, the area will be known as the Maag Library Learning Commons and will include offices, study areas, private conference areas, testing areas, and upgrades including HVAC systems, lighting, fire, safety and accessibility.

Total cost of the Maag Library renovation is projected at $1.1 million, according to White, who attended the controlling board meeting in Columbus on Monday to answer any questions about the project and the request to move the funds.

White said the construction of the project will be bid in February with the departments move from Kilcawley to the Learning Commons completed in August or September 2024.

The estimate for the Kilcawley Center renovation project is $41 million, as opposed to an estimated $110 million it would have taken to construct a new student center. White anticipates the renovations starting in May 2025 and said interviews are being conducted with firms interested in designing that project.

A study by WTW Architects in Cleveland revealed last year that the 163,000-square-foot Kilcawley Center is larger than YSU needs and sections more than 50 years old need major updates. Additionally, many colleges competing with YSU for students have much newer student centers.

The YSU Board of Trustees and then-President Jim Tressel decided to move forward with a plan to renovate, downsizing Kilcawley to about 128,000 square-feet, while giving the university additional amenities to attract students, including a more common space and centralized location for the restaurants housed there.

As justification for why the $1 million is no longer needed in the Cushwa Hall Allied Health Renovations fund, YSU noted the merger between YSU and Mercy Health nursing programs means the program will not require additional space for the foreseeable future.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.