Our View: Kent finally becoming what a college town should be

SKS Staff

With the downtown development well underway, our staff can’t help but be excited for the new changes coming to the City of Kent.

That’s right, we’re a city; we finally seem to be acting like it. It seems we always knew the potential was there, but with a downtown finally taking shape, Kent is becoming more of what a college municipality should be.

It’s fun to imagine the day when students and families will be able to walk downtown without taking their lives into their own hands, or the day when guests of the university can actually stay near the university and avoid Rt. 43 completely.

The AMETEK and Davey Tree mixed-use facility broke ground Tuesday. Acorn Alley II is well on its way to completion. PARTA broke ground and the hotel and conference center finalized plans in April. Now we’re just waiting for finalized plans for the University Esplanade.

Is this real life? Will Kent really be transformed by the fall of 2012? Not only is the city’s vision taking shape in front of our very eyes, but Kent State students will have a better balance of education and social satisfaction during their four years here.

Yes, Kent is a “college town,” but because of the new developments, it will actually be similar to other college towns across the country — with more dining, job and social opportunities.

Students entering their senior year and preparing to leave the university in the spring are reasonably upset they won’t be able to enjoy the effects of the “Kent Renaissance.”

But we think those students should at least be pleased to have even more reason to return to their old — or new — stomping grounds after they graduate.

They’ll probably be telling stories over some sun stix at Ray’s Place about how Kent used to be. How “none of this was here back in my day.”

We say, go ahead. It’ll help the new Kent students understand how lucky they’ll be to have a beautiful downtown area in a revitalized “college town.”

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Summer Kent Stater editorial board.