Loud and clear: Speech clinic addition will come to Center for Performing Arts


A student is forced to walk outside the cross walk due to construction at the Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.

Colin Baker

Kent State speech and pathology majors will have a new classroom early next year in the Center for Performing Arts.

The $1,500,000 addition will provide speech and pathology faculty and students with a large new classroom, more organized office space for faculty and students and a public entrance for clients to the speech and hearing clinic.

The Center for Performing Arts opened in 1960, and is just east of Nixon Hall on Theatre Drive in the middle of campus. 

The office space for the speech and audiology department is shared with music and dance. The addition is the first of its kind to the building.

Michael Bruder, the executive director of facilities, planning and design, said the office sharing and confusing entrance to the center were the reasons behind the addition.

“For the general public, the primary entrance was off in the main lobby of the building, and (the speech and audiology clinic) was pretty difficult to find,” Bruder said. “It shared a lobby with the performance venues …  This moves the front door of that clinic closer to the parking, which is more convenient because they have a lot of elderly clientele.”

Bruder said that the renovation places the academic offices closer to the entrance into the new addition, instead of tucked back into the north end of the building.

Hayley Arnold, a speech-language pathologist and associate professor and program director of the speech pathology and audiology program, spoke of some of the challenges the program was facing before the addition.

“We are having to temporarily house materials in some odd places,” Arnold said. “We had a classroom that was in the far end of the space, and we had a clinic that was on the near end to the rest of the academic facilities … We had students walking past client rooms causing noise.”

Lynne Rowan, the director of the School of Health Sciences, said the idea for the renovation came a few years ago when the then interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services toured the speech clinic and offered money to the project.

“At the time we were dealing with cracks in the walls, limited amount of space for research and the clinic,” Rowan said. “Our wing of the building had not been refreshed since it was built … We were excited to have some more space for research … and improve the educational experience of our students.”

Samantha Davis, a graduate speech language pathology major, said the project has caused some disruption, but she is excited for the addition.

“It’s just really noisy, it’s a little bit crazy with workers walking around in the clinic,” Davis said. “I think that it will be a better setup with clients having access from this side rather than walking through the CPA and into the clinic.”

The addition is expected to be completed in January 2018.

Colin Baker is the architecture and construction reporter. Contact him at [email protected]