Bohannon Science Center will be demolished this summer as part of plans by John Carroll University to expand their green space, increase their parking and maximize land for student use. The demolition of the former science center will take place over two months.
According to an e-mail sent on March 17 to faculty, staff, administrators and students by Jonathan Smith, vice president and executive assistant to the president, the University began the demolition process by removing the interior materials of Bohannon in an environmentally friendly way.
“The removal of interior materials was recently completed and much was salvaged and sold for scrap,” he said. “We have tracked all the material removed and, as part of our sustainability policy, have been able to divert much of this material from local landfills.”
In order to take down Bohannon, the University had to obtain permission from University Heights.
“We have recently reached an agreement with UH, which included our plans for Bohannon and the restoration of Hamlin Quad,” said Carol Dietz, JCU’s associate vice president of facilities. “Overall, the City and the University are very pleased to be working together and move forward in a positive way.”
After the building is taken down, the space will be converted into an approximately 260 space parking area and rain gardens. According to Smith’s e-mail, the campus would see a net gain of 180 parking spaces as a result of the work, which will take six to eight weeks to complete.
“The area will be designed to meet new environmental and ecological standards to reduce storm water runoff,” he said. “If you can be proud of a parking area, this will be the one.”
Dietz explained that new regulations mandate requirements “on the quantity and quality of storm water runoff from impervious surfaces.”
The University has been working with a landscape architect and local civil engineering firm to ensure the project meets the mandates.
“Six to eight rain gardens will be located within the parking area. They will contain trees/bushes or flowering plants as well as several feet of soil and gravel that act to retain and filter the rainwater before it is discharged into the storm sewer,” she said in an e-mail. “Similarly, the west side of the parking lot, adjacent to the Hamlin Quad will contain a bio swale, [which is] a strip of vegetation and natural grasses above a soil and gravel mix that will hold and filter runoff water before it enters the storm water system.”
Hamlin Quad will also undergo grading and sloping, drainage improvements and installation of an irrigation system. The field will be a regulation-size practice area for sports teams to practice on and lessen the use of Wasmer Field at Don Shula Stadium.
“Not only will this provide practice space but it will also bring back the activity level that many remember on Hamlin Quad, along with creating an alternate location for other major outdoor campus events,” Smith said.
Smith acknowledged that the construction schedule this summer is ambitious, and not everything may be completed in time.
“The additional parking may not be ready for the start of school,” he said. “It is likely that we will need to provide some shuttle service to campus until the project is completed.”
The project was financed through benefactor gifts to the University.
“Just as the gifts that made Bohannon possible and created a building that provided the University more than 40 years of service, I am sure that these enhancements will offer years of benefits to the University,” Smith said.