Patching the holes: Kent construction

A classroom in the newly renovated Taylor Hall on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.

Students returning to campus might notice something different about Kent — a lot of dirt.

Dust from multiple building and road construction projects became commonplace this summer. Some students find themselves walking on dirt where sidewalks are still waiting to be completed along Summit Street. 

While Kent State’s building projects are nearing completion, orange cones line streets still under construction.

Here are some of the projects in and around Kent State. 

Taylor Hall

After a year of renovations, the doors of Taylor Hall are open.

The project, which cost nearly 9 million dollars, is the first major renovation the building has had since it was built in 1967.

It will house both the School of Communication Studies and the School of Visual Communication Design.

The renovated facilities include a distance learning technology space, a conference space for teleconferencing and a large lecture hall.

Integrated Sciences Building

The three-year construction project on the new Integrated Sciences Building is complete.

The approximately $93 million dollar, 57,000-square-foot building connects Smith, Williams and Cunningham Halls on the campus’ Science Mall.

The project is a part of the university’s effort to enhance its science programs campus-wide, said Laura Leff, a professor of biological sciences and chair of the academic department. 

“It really provides a modern space for instruction and allows us to introduce new technology to students,” Leff said. “It gives students a hands-on experience.”

The improvements include new classrooms, instructional labs, research lab space and faculty offices for the departments of chemistry and biology.

Thinking of future research, the building includes a 13,500-square-foot unfinished basement for potential developments within the program.

West Campus Center Drive

Work began for the new West Campus Center Drive Tuesday near Summit Street and the Schwartz Center, according to a press release.

The project will align Campus Drive to the Student Green and create one roundabout at the center of campus.

As a result, some pedestrian pathways have been removed in the area.

Summit Street

Work continued through the summer on Phase 2 of the Summit Street Improvement Project, including a larger intersection at South Lincoln Street and a reconfigured Kent Drive that is no longer a part of the main intersection. 

Heavy equipment is working to reduce the hill of Summit Hill and one eastbound lane is open. Some new sidewalks were installed with more to come. 

The newly constructed Summit Street will also include bike lanes and improved pedestrian access. 

Workers are installing the last below-ground water pipe before the road can be paved and finished, according to Kent’s Engineering Division.

The project manager wasn’t available to comment on the duration of the project.

Tonkin Street (formerly Tonkin Court)

Tonkin Street will be under construction until mid-October.

Workers are working to build a new street from the original court, according to Kent’s Engineering Division.

The new street will be an expanded roadway that will connect College Street and Summit Street.

Rachel Duthie is the features editor. Contact her at [email protected].

Maria DeBone is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected].