Bond approved to renovate Olson offices


Photo by Shane Flanigan.

Lyndsey Schley

The Board of Trustees approved a $5.9 million bond to remodel the Undergraduate Studies offices in Olson Hall in December.

“The theme of the new space will be student engagement,” said Eboni Pringle, interim dean of Undergraduate Studies. “We don’t want this just to be an administrative space. We really want students to be able to feel like they have another place to go to be able to work alongside other students, to be able to work alongside staff and to really have access to on a regular basis.”

The offices currently house the division’s Student Success Program and Exploratory Advising Center, but the Academic Success Center and the offices of the dual enrollment, and post-secondary and TRiO programs are housed in the Schwartz Center due to lack of space, Pringle said. The Research and Technology departments also share the space in Olson.

“We know once we have our building renovated that we’ll be able to bring our entire division over,” Pringle said. “We’ll be able to collaborate differently and better because we’re not in several different locations.”

The current layout is very open, leading to lack of privacy, said Jude Rule, director of the Exploratory Advising Center.

“Because we work in cubicles in a room that was once a cafeteria, we don’t have a great deal of privacy when we’re talking to students,” Rule said. “There are times when students have issues they want to discuss with their advisor that they don’t necessarily want the person on the other side of the cubicle wall hearing.”

The university replaced windows and added some new carpet, offices, cubicles and restrooms in the last couple of years, but the building still has many issues with heating, cooling, flooding and leaky roofs, Pringle said.

The building is about 52 years old, according to the Kent State Residence Services web page.

“We’ve got at least five portions of our roof that leak and on rainy days, we usually come in, in the morning to some part of our building being soaked,” Pringle said. “The heating system is not the best. Every summer, we go at least three to four weeks without air.”

The funds for the bond come from the credit hour overage fee, said Pringle.

Lyndsey Schley is the academics reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].