University begins construction of Student Green Project near Student Center

Rex Santus

Kent State began initial construction Wednesday of the Student Green project, the creation of a “contiguous green space” from Risman Plaza to Summit Street, according to a university press release.

“[Kent State is] extending the space for students to have spontaneous gatherings and social activities,” said Emily Vincent, director of University Media Relations. “It’s designed for the students.”

The project costs $2.8 million. Students should expect the project’s completion by October 2012, the press release said.

“There is some work that is starting, but the bulk of the construction work will be done after commencement [in May],” Vincent said. “So people will notice activity going on, but it won’t impact them.”

The new area will “create an attractive, student-centered space at a major ‘front door’ to campus,” the press release said. One of the major components of the project is the construction of a performance stage for student usage. The green area will serve as a backdrop for the stage, which will project into campus.

“The Student Green also provides a new gateway to the campus from Summit Street, making it an inviting access point for visitors to the campus,” said Brian Pickering, landscape architect for the Office of the University Architect, in the press release. “It will be located right across from the Admissions Office…making it more visible to prospective students and their families.”

Vincent said the recently renovated Risman Plaza will see no further improvements; the Student Green Project is phase two of creating a large entry point for Kent State’s campus.

“Response to the Risman Plaza renovations has been very favorable, and the energized atmosphere produced by the heavy student use is great for the campus,” said Gregg Floyd, senior vice president of finance and administration, in the press release. “…I am very proud of the good work provided by our facilities and grounds staff to produce an attractive and inviting campus for our university family and guests.”

After construction begins to pick up in May, the eastern end of Risman Drive will be closed, and traffic will be redirected. A new drive aisle will also be constructed for buses and vehicles making stops at the Student Center bus stop, according to the press release.

Vincent said the Student Green Project will enhance people’s opinions of Kent State’s campus.

“It’s just another space on our campus that students, as well as visitors, will be able to enjoy,” Vincent said. “One thing we always hear is we have such a beautiful campus. This is just another way we’re making the campus more beautiful.”

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].