Heather Wells

College Street, along with Lincoln and Willow may soon become a part of campus. Kent State University is working on a project that will extend the University Esplanade into downtown Kent.

KSU has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying houses, so they can use the property for campus expansion. The city of Kent, along with the University’s administration, wants a stronger connection between the Kent city and campus.

Kent State University architect, Michael Bruder, says that the city and the University have been working together on the expansion project.

“We feel strongly that we need this pedestrian connection between campus and downtown,” Bruder said.

The city of Kent and KSU did receive a grant from the Department of Transportation, for 700,000 dollars, to help pay for the costs of the project.

“That is going to pay for a large portion of the work,” Bruder said.

The overall goal for the project is to connect Hilltop with Haymaker Street. This connection will make it easier for students to go downtown for shopping, eating, entertainment, etc.

Downtown business owners are looking forward to seeing new faces and boosting their sales with more customers.

Cass Mayfield is the owner of the Gallery in downtown Kent. She is excited to start seeing more students in the downtown area.

Mayfield said, “We love all of the things that are happening between the University and downtown, it’s very encouraging.”