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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Crawford Hall construction moves to new phase and stays on schedule

Construction on the exterior of Crawford Hall, the new business building for the Ambassador Crawford School of Business and Entrepreneurship, has finished. Scaffolding can now be seen through the glass exterior as work begins on the interior finishes of the building. 

Deborah Spake, dean of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, said everything is running smoothly. 

“It’s very evident to see that the building footprint itself is there. So our goal was to get it fully enclosed by about this time of year,” Spake said. “I think it’s either there or we’re very, very close.”

Some of the glass panels on the outside are missing, with plywood in their place. Spake said that was to be expected. 

“You’ve probably noticed a couple of light pieces of wood where glass should be. That’s where glass arrived from the vendor broken and they had to reorder. That’s a normal thing that happens in construction. So that didn’t put us behind in any way on our schedule,” she said. 

Spake said she had the opportunity to tour the inside of the building in January. 

“What you would have seen is a lot of scaffolding. And so we’re at the point in construction where they’re putting up the drywall, where they’re doing the air ducts before they put in the ceiling,” Spake said.

Spake said the building is expected to open by mid-summer, and that students will be able to attend classes inside the building next fall semester. 

“The goal is for the college to take the building at the end of the semester, and the faculty and staff plan to move in in July and then it will open for fall classes,” she said.

Students will be able to register for classes inside Crawford Hall as soon as registration for fall classes open in March. 

Spake said any delays to the construction at this stage are unlikely, since much of the exterior is already completed. In the unlikely event of a setback, Spake said business classes could simply continue in their current classrooms, without moving into Crawford Hall. 

Crawford Hall will house several laboratory spaces for business students to use, including a financial trading floor, business analytics wall, sales lab and collaboration space. 

Spake says the new labs are meant to service some of the growing student groups, such as the Golden Flash Asset Management Team. This organization is a student group who manages $1.25 million and will have access to the new trading floor in Crawford Hall. 

“In the new building there’ll be a financial trading floor. We’re going to call it a financial trading lab,” Spake said. “Our students will be able to have access to all the technology that they need to continue to manage those funds.”

Spake also said Crawford Hall will have an analytics lab to support the growing business data field. Kent State currently offers an undergraduate major, a masters degree in business analytics and a minor in data analytics. 

“The faculty will have access to a data wall and a business analytics lab space so students will be able to visualize the kinds of data representation that they’re doing on their screen, but in a much larger way,” Spake said. “This is really important because in business these days, that’s [a fast] growing field.” 

Spake said the building will support other parts of the business program, including a sales lab and space for guest speakers. But, Crawford Hall won’t just be for business labs. Spake said there will be space for students to get together and collaborate with each other. 

“Even if you’re not on a student team, we’re going to have something called a collaboration stair in the building,” Spake said. “You may have seen them at other places, the edges or stairs at the center is seating. Students can go sit on the collaboration stair and have lunch, they can meet as teams if they’re working on projects, the collaboration stairs are a gathering place, so we can use it for many purposes.”

Crawford Hall will be open for classes in fall 2024 and will bolster the already growing college of business administration. 

“It’s a matter of having the right kind of space to provide the very best business education that we can,” Spake said.

Andrew Bowie is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

Tyler Schlosser is a reporter for TV2. Contact him at [email protected].

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Andrew Bowie, Reporter
Andrew is a general assistant reporter at KentWired and a second-year Communication Studies major. He hopes to improve his writing skills here and deepen his understanding and connection with writing. He likes learning about people, and he always finds himself so impressed at all the things people can do – which is why he enjoys writing about them. "Ask me stuff, ask me to do stuff, ask me for help even though I don't know much yet. I'll probably say yes!" he says. Contact him at [email protected]

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