Ohio considers $25.86 million funding for Kent State

Karl Schneider

Ohio lawmakers are considering a Capital Budget Bill, which proposes $25,860,000 in capital to be allocated to Kent State. Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management began planning the biennial appropriation in November 2015.

Legislators introduced the bill to the Ohio Senate on April 12 and approved it on April 20 with a 32-1 vote. The bill will head to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration and—if approved—be passed on to Gov. John Kasich.

Miami University President David Hodge and Lorain County Community College President Roy Church led the commission of Ohio university presidents to recommend appropriate funding totaling $428.2 million for higher education, all according to the budget bill. An additional $56 million was allocated to support “projects of statewide benefit to the University System of Ohio.”

Kent State’s allocations will be distributed throughout the university’s main campus and regional campuses. An additional $1.1 million will be given to Severance Hall, $500,000 to Akron General Sexual Assault Evidence Collection & Care facility and $750,000 to Blossom Music Center.

“We have a number of projects on our list that have been forwarded on to the legislators, but there were also other projects which were requested but could not be supported due to competing priorities at Kent State University as well as the other colleges and universities across the state,” said Thomas Euclide, associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Operations.

Kent State’s main campus will receive $18.8 million if the bill is approved. The line items found in the bill for the main campus are:

  • $900,000 for Liquid Crystal and Material Science hood control replacement.

  • $1,500,000 for Rockwell Hall electric chiller and air handling replacement.

  • $7,000,000 for Taylor Hall renovations—Visual Communications and Design.

  • $5,000,000 for Bowman Hall mechanical and building improvements.

  • $3,000,000 for Terrace Hall renovations—College of Public Health

  • $500,000 for Satterfield Hall—HVAC

  • $900,000  for campus fire alarm system replacements.

“Kent State concentrated their priorities around safety, deferred maintenance and the renovation of facilities—which will soon be vacated when the College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the Center for the Visual Arts are completed,” Euclide said.

The capital budget bill will also fund upgrades and replacements for some of Kent State’s regional campuses if the bill is approved. Tuscarawas is slated to receive $1.2 million for HVAC and roof work to Founders Hall; Ashtabula will receive $325,000 for a design phase and East Liverpool will have $1.1 million for HVAC upgrades, sanitary improvements and classroom renovations.

Ohio lawmakers consider capital budget bills every two years, so Kent State has 24 months to dole out, plan and implement all the appropriations before a new bill is considered.

“The projects on our list do not yet have firm schedules since the funding availability will not be known until the bill is passed and signed,” Euclide said. “The university will move quickly and work to design and build all the identified projects in the next two years and before the next biennium cycle begins.”

Editor’s note: The dollar amount for capital improvements at Kent State was incorrectly listed as $22.6 million. The correct amount is $25.86 million.

Karl Schneider is an administration reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].