Bowman Hall renovation provides space for future dining location

Erika Kerr

Construction in Bowman Hall has brought new lighting and brighter walls and has left a space to support a new food venue.

Bowman Hall will be getting a new dining option for students, but it has not been confirmed what service will be provided.

Michael Bruder, university architect and director of design and construction, said plans are still being finalized with campus dining services, but there is a new space in Bowman that would support a food area.

“We have provided sinks and new plumbing in Bowman, and we would certainly like to see some type of food service venue there,” Bruder said.

Bruder said new seating is being added in the lobby outside the large lecture halls, and the existing vending machines will still be available.

“The specifics still need to be worked out for the food aspect of it,” Bruder said. “The menu decisions, for instance, still reside with dining services.”

The whole purpose of the construction in Bowman and Satterfield halls, Bruder said, is to increase students’ use of the facility during the times they’re not attending classes.

“The intent of the construction was to improve that time in between classes for students,” Bruder said. “We wanted to update the corridors for students who are waiting for class to start or trying to work on a project with their group.”

Bruder said they replaced Bowman’s old lighting with brighter, more efficient lighting. They also updated the walls by painting them in more contemporary colors. Additionally, new furniture will be moved in to provide more seating with a majority of the seating to be established outside the lecture halls on the west end of the building.

“This campus grew exponentially in the ‘60s, and more than half the buildings were built during that time,” Bruder said. “The buildings are reaching that 35- to 40-year mark and are looking sort of tired. It is important to the administration that these older buildings get renovated and redone.”

The university gets a capital bill every two years through the state of Ohio legislature to help with improvements to buildings. But, Bruder said, because of the state’s current economic situation, Kent State did not get a capital bill this year, which has caused delays on other projects. However, Bruder said Bowman and Satterfield were a top priority to the university.

“We didn’t have to borrow money for the project,” Bruder said. “The university found it in the budget.”

Senior radiation therapy major Kelly Swauger is often in Bowman Hall. Swauger said her schedule puts her in Bowman Monday through Thursday, and she likes the new improvements she’s seen.

“I think putting a new place to eat in here [Bowman] sounds like a good idea,” Swauger said. “I only know of two other places inside halls to grab something.”

Swauger said she would use a coffee bar, especially during the winter season.

Construction in Bowman and Satterfield halls began in May and will be finished by the time classes start in the fall. The new dining area is not expected to be finished by then, but Bruder said he is hoping something will be in place by the end of the fall semester.

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Erika Kerr at [email protected].