Campus renovations continue; to be complete by homecoming

Though incoming freshmen and transfer

students may not notice, returning

students may have to pause and soak in

the results of Kent State’s summertime

construction and renovations.

The university’s main campus has

begun a $200 million renovation process

and a total of $353 million in renovations

for main campus and all the regional campuses


The most noticeable project of the summer

has been the construction and renovations

in Risman Plaza.

“We were redesigning some of the overall

design of the plaza to get some more

green space and areas for student seating,”

University Architect Michael Bruder said.

“We also took down the fountain and built

a new fountain.”

President Lester Lefton said the plaza

renovations are part of a plan to attract

more students to Kent State. He said more

students will be encouraged to attend Kent

State once they see the new plaza.

Right by Risman Plaza, the library’s first

floor is undergoing renovations.

“It is primarily interior finishes, including

new flooring, ceilings, lights and furniture,”

Bruder said.

Over the summer, fences were set up

in Risman Plaza to detour students away

from the construction site. These fences will

be removed by the time students return to

campus in late August.

Construction in the plaza should be complete

by homecoming weekend, Bruder said.

There will be construction teams doing detail

work, but there will be nothing to “affect the

general day-to-day travels of students.”

Bruder said the construction in Risman

Plaza is set to cost $2.8 million, while the budget

for the library renovations is $1.1 million.

Both figures are on track as of Aug. 3.

Halls, both academic and residential,

have received similar facelifts.

The Music and Speech Center received an

addition with the Roe Green Center, home

to the School of Theatre and Dance that

includes some new dance studios, a new

theater space and a new entry lobby.

McDowell Hall and the Michael Schwartz

Center received bathroom renovations.

Those in McDowell Hall are due to the

age of the building. The university has

upgraded the plumbing systems and bathroom

fixtures, said Dan White, associate

director of administrative operations in

residence services.

“In McDowell, we gutted the bathrooms

and put in all new fixtures and plumbing, as

well as some work with the fire alarms and

HVAC systems,” White said.

The plan to renovate McDowell had been

in the works since last summer when its

neighbor Beall Hall was renovated for the

same reasons. They couldn’t have both shut

down at the same time, White said, so they

modernized one at a time.

Residence services helped to bring the

residence halls up to ADA (Americans with

Disabilities Act) compliance, White said.

Some of these projects included fixing a

shower in Beall Hall that had a hump that

was too large for a wheelchair to go over

it and gutting a lobby bathroom in Prentice

Hall that was not ADA compliant.

Kent State should continue to see more

renovations for as long as the university’s

renovation plan carries on.

Contact general assignment reporter Kyle

Reynolds at [email protected] and administration

reporter Nick Glunt at [email protected].