Students concerned about cost of new CAED building

Adrian Leuthauser

Kent State University has been working on the College of Architecture and Environmental Design since 2012 but now after four years of selection process and construction, the building will open for students for the Fall 2016 semester with the ribbon cutting on Oct, 7 2016.

The building is located on the Esplanade leading to downtown and across from The Wick Poetry Center.

Associate Vice President of Facilities and Operation, Thomas Euclide, helped coordinate what the building would look like, how it’s maintained and  made sure the costs are kept as low as possible.

Euclide was also involved with the interview process for which architecutal firm would take on the project. The selection process started around 2012.

According to a statement provided by Carla Wyckoff, director of business and financial communications and special projects, Kent State is nearing the completion of the Foundations of Excellence (FOE) initiative.

“…Board of Trustees approval for the issuance of $170 million in bonds. The multi-year FOE plan includes the construction of new buildings and facility upgrades to existing buildings,” the statement said. “One of the FOE projects is a new building for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.”

According to the statement, of the $170 million in bonds, the approved budget for the building is $47.9 million. This figure also includes $3.8 million from donors and from CAED.

According to an announcement posted on Kent State’s website on Nov. 2012, the estimated cost for the new building was $40 million.

“I believe it (total cost) was around $43 million for the building,” Euclide said. “Though the original estimation was $40 million.”

According to Euclide, Kent State took out a loan, which is what the Foundations of Excellence played in.

“They (Kent) took out a loan and would pay it back over time though I’m unsure as to how they are paying the loan back,” Euclide said. “The bond was much bigger because it covered a lot of other projects as well to enhance students, the CAED building was just one of the larger components of it.”

Forrest Paige, a CAED grad student, feels that the cost is a little expensive, yet he is happy with the project.

“It was a great investment decision for several reasons,” Paige said. “It shows that the architecture program is becoming more well established and will give Kent State some attention from the architecture profession.”

Paige also said he feels that the size of the building and the iconic nature will bring others to Kent State, and will benefit the students in the CAED program overall.

“It will finally allow for a unified building where all years of architecture can be in one place,” Paige said. “The learning environment will definitely improve since all the students will be together instead of spread across campus.”

Though for some, the cost bothers them.

Bobbie Szabo, an English major doesn’t like the idea of that much money going into the project.

“No building is worth that much to be honest,” Bobbie said.

Courtney Ruggiero, a computer design and game animation major feels that the money could have been used in other places around Kent State.

“I think the building will be a good addition to campus because it draws my attention, but I wish it was more like another student center because it would be really nice place to study and do homework,” Ruggiero said. “I still think though, they could have used the money to renovate one of the older buildings for them.”

Ruggiero referred to a couple different buildings around campus that could be improved.

“The Macc Annex (Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center) could use a good cleaning and new technology in there,” Ruggiero said. “I think they should have waited after all the other construction was done at least, then decide to put something in that lot.”

According to Euclide, the final budget that they have for the CAED building is what the board of trustees approved and it’s what they have to use, including the contingency fund, which is included in the budget.

“The contingency fund is set up for in case anything unforeseen happens,” Euclide said. “For example, there were unclear understandings of the drawings and the contractors had a valid claim and we had to pay extras for them.”

For more information on the new CAED building, visit its website.

Adrian Leuthauser is the CAED reporter for The Kent Stater, contact him at [email protected]