Salem, East Liverpool create new labs, classrooms for nursing students

Brittney Trojanowski

Kent State regional campuses are expanding to accommodate their growing nursing programs, in addition to other renovations.

Salem renovates gym into nursing classrooms and labs

The Kent State Salem campus is spending roughly $6.7 million to reconstruct its under-utilized gym into classrooms and labs for its nursing and radiology students.

The gym at the Salem campus has not been used for much, said Henry Trenkelbach, budget administrator for both campus projects. The idea to convert the gym into a health and science wing came from the Salem campus dean back in 2002. After saving money, the construction began in early December, Trenkelbach said.

“Currently, the nursing program is in a converted woodworking workshop, and radiology is spread out into little rooms,” Trenkelbach said. “This space will give them a lot more space and a newer space too.”

Trenkelbach said the wing would feature new teaching labs, assessment viewing rooms, X-ray rooms, a multipurpose lecture hall and various classrooms.

The project is funded by state capital dollars, funds raised by the community and from pinching pennies over about an eight-year period, Trenkelbach said.

The wing is being built in two separate phases, Trenkelbach said. The first phase will be finished by Aug. 6. This phase includes the space used for the nursing and radiology students. The second phase includes a new bookstore and faculty offices, which will not be complete until Dec. 31.

East Liverpool repurposes hall into lab

East Liverpool is renovating the American Red Cross building into a new campus hall called Puritan Hall. The new hall will house the occupational therapy program’s teaching lab, Trenkelbach said.

“Our nursing program at East Liverpool is growing and we’ve outgrown that space,” Trenkelbach said. “If the OT department had a different place, then the nursing program could expand.”

East Liverpool is also constructing a new parking lot for students and faculty and renovating an existing building into a new academic hall.

Trenkelbach said parking is limited at the East Liverpool campus.

“We’re constructing a new parking lot,” he said. “We’re bound by the city streets, and we don’t have a whole lot of parking spaces for the students and staff to park in.”

The campus bought three properties in the area over the past four to five years to convert into parking spaces, Trenkelbach said. He added that right now the land has been converted into gravel parking lots because of the demand for parking near campus. After the project is complete, it will be paved, have a retaining wall and green areas with trees.

The new parking lot will offer drivers around 77 extra parking spaces near the campus, he said.

It is costing the campus nearly $640,000, which came from capital funds and money set aside for projects, and they hope to have it done by this summer, Trenkelbach said.

Trenkelbach said the reason they are doing these projects on both campuses is so students can have better classrooms.

“We try to save where we can save some money,” Trenkelbach said. “We try to make our branch campus grow; at the same time give a better facility to the students so the students can learn.”

Contact Brittney Trojanowski at [email protected].