All summer long: Kent State University’s construction projects

Sara Morse

Since the start of the summer, the Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State Project has slowly chipped away at the Kent campus.

Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State (also called the Gateway Plan) is a billion-dollar project that will take place over the next ten years to renovate the look and feel of the Kent Campus. The plan includes renovations to buildings, new parking facilities, a new business building and many more additions and changes to campus.

Phase one of the plan is already underway and several projects have been accomplished this summer. Read on for a full list of construction activities that took place over the summer.

FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center

Aeronautics students will no longer be taking classes in trailers at the Kent State airport this fall, as the FedEx Aeronautics Academics Center nears completion.

In order to usher in a new generation of commercial pilots, FedEx donated over $6 million dollars so Kent State could build a new building at the airport to be used for classroom space.

According to a university statement, the new center will “house collaborative spaces, classrooms, briefing rooms, simulator rooms, and faculty and staff offices.” The building will be open fall 2019.

Design Innovation Hub

Coming fall 2020, the Design Innovation Hub will be replacing the former Art Building. 

The Hub will have several dining options as well as space that “sparks open-access collaborations in an environment that fosters innovation,” according to a university statement.

Most notably, in the Design Innovation Hub there will be space for 3D printing, water laser cutting, a woodshop and a metal shop.

The university nearly demolished the old Art Building and is using what’s left to build the Design Innovation Hub.

“We are taking the building down just to the steel and the concrete floor slabs…” Executive Director of Facilities, Planning and Operations at Kent State Michael Bruder said. “It is essentially a new building with the existing structural system.”

Students can expect to take use of the Design Innovation Hub in August of 2020.

Dunbar Hall

Air conditioning was added to Dunbar Hall. Students should expect the chilly addition for fall 2019.

Eastway Residence Halls 

This summer Clark and Allen Halls, located inside Eastway Center, received new windows and some exterior masonry repair. The renovations will be complete for students this fall.

Fletcher and Manchester Hall are slated to receive replacement windows and similar repairs during summer 2020.

Schwartz Center

The former glass-making studio space in the Schwartz Center is under renovation and will house the ROTC offices that are relocating from Terrace Hall. The offices will be completed in the late summer or early fall, said Bruder.

MACC Annex and Fashion Design Studio 

Fashion Design Studio Relocation

The school of Fashion Design and Merchandising studios is moving out of Terrace Hall and relocating to the MACC Annex. 

MACC Annex Renovations

The MACC Annex is being renovated to create a huge “multi-sport development center.” 

The development center will feature different practice court configurations for both the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams. There will be new lighting and flooring in the 10,000 square foot space.

Integrated Sciences Building 

The basement (also called the terrace) of the Integrated Sciences Building is being renovated to accommodate the Brain Health Research Institute. 

The Brain Health Research Institute is a multidisciplinary collaboration in neuroscience research and education at Kent State. Their new laboratory in the ISB will be used to not only teach students but act as a space for researchers.

The institute will feature three “collaborative learning” areas and is slated to be finished this fall.

McGilvrey Hall

McGilvrey Hall is receiving an elevator addition. Construction will continue through the fall 2019 semester.

Student Center

The Kent State Student Center was one of the first buildings of the summer to receive renovations as part of the “Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State” project, otherwise known as the Master Plan.

Renovations to the Student Center second floor restrooms began early this summer with a budget of $490,000.

“In general, the Student Center rehabilitation is kind of the first phase of [the Master Plan],” Bruder said.

Bruder said phase one will focus on the Kent Market, the second floor dining area, as well as relocating the Design Innovation Hub in order to make more room for student organization and student engagement spaces. Phase one is expected to take place from now until 2020.