Construction of Prentice Gate starts

Jinae West

Workers lay bricks, project complete in mid-November

Prentice Gate’s redesign will be completed by mid-November in a new location on state Route 59.

The construction crew started demolition work on the memorial before the start of the fall semester and plans to reach completion within the next several weeks. Workers have spent the past few weeks laying bricks on the new structure. The plan to rebuild the gate came about because of the old weathered brick and limestone’s proximity to the road. The project cost approximately $200,000.

“We’re rebuilding it back away from the road because it was deteriorating due to age and stuff being thrown out on there from the roadways,” construction manager Todd Schaffer said. “We’re restoring its original luster, and the improvements we’ve made will make it so the road won’t bother (the gate).”

Thomas Euclide, executive director of Facilities Planning and Operations, said when the gate was first built, state Route 59 was much more narrow, which provided sufficient space between Prentice Gate and the road. Over time, however, state Route 59 expanded and moved closer to the structure, resulting in damage from road salt.

“The gate was starting to look very beat-up and worn-out,” Euclide said.

Schaffer said the redesign is nearly identical to the old one.

“It’s just a replication with modern materials and methods,” he said.

Workers will continue to upgrade the concrete and incorporate a Kent State gateway sign and bench into the new structure. Euclide said these additions to the gate could serve as a gathering point for students to meet before heading downtown. At one of the farthest corners on campus, it’s also a welcome sign for the university.

The memorial is named in honor of Prentice May, who in 1912 became the first female faculty member at Kent State.

Contact buildings and grounds reporter Jinae West at [email protected].