Electric sign coming to downtown Kent

Conner Howard

University and Kent City administrators are coordinating to install an electronic sign and message board on the corner of South Water and Haymaker streets.

Tom Euclide, Kent State’s vice president of facility planning and operations, said the sign is intended to promote events held by the city and university. The sign will be owned and operated jointly by both parties.

“It’s another component of the city and the university working closely together to improve the community,” Euclide said. “The city has wanted for a long time to have some kind of message board in the downtown area to let people know what’s going on. At the same time, Kent State had a similar desire to promote university events.”

Events ranging from festivals and fire hydrant flushings to school-sponsored plays could be displayed on the sign.

The South Water/Haymaker intersection was chosen because it presented the most visibility for motorists. Euclide said the aim is to entice passersby to stay in town longer or visit again later.

“It was by far the most prominent intersection in the community,” Euclide said. “That’s where state Route 43 comes in and turns over the river and that’s where 59 comes across so it was a place where we’d have high visibility by a lot of patrons that are driving into town as well as driving by.”

Dan Smith, Kent city economic development director, said he felt the new signage could contribute to the development of Kent’s “college town experience.”

“We wanted to create the experience where townspeople and students can interact outside of just the bar scene,” Smith said.

The sign is planned to be in place and operational by fall 2012, but Euclide said it may be finished sooner.

“We’re hoping it’s ready by mid-summer, but we’re still in the process of contracting the costs,” Euclide said.

Contact Conner Howard at [email protected].