Health and Sciences building construction underway at Ashtabula

Rebecca Odell

After facing several environmental setbacks, construction of the Health and Sciences Building at Kent State Ashtabula is


The construction of the $15 million building, which will be the home of the nursing and allied health programs at the campus, halted after a section of the construction zone was considered a wetland, said Susan Stocker, dean of Kent

State Ashtabula.

The second environmental setback occurred when officials discovered trees on the site that were potential habitats for the Indiana bat, an endangered species, said Dave Schultz, business services administrator at Kent State Ashtabula.

Stocker said crews could not cut any trees down until the roosting season for the bat was over. Ice storms and snow delayed construction further after construction officially began in January 2008.

Schultz said construction has come a long way despite the setbacks, and the crew has lost very few days to bad weather this season.

“Construction has really

taken off here this summer,” Stocker said.

Stocker said the addition of the Health and Sciences Building to Kent State Ashtabula is exciting because many job opportunities exist in health care, particularly in this region.

Students in health-related majors are not the only ones who will take classes in the Health and Sciences building. The building will also house continuing education and science lab classes.

The abundance of space, the new equipment and the improved technology in labs will open up new avenues for educators and improve faculty’s ability to teach, said Tamra Courey, assistant professor of nursing at Kent State Ashtabula.

“It is an exciting time to be a part of Kent State Ashtabula,” Courey said.

Although construction is progressing, Stocker said a funding gap still exists. According to Campus News, the Next Step Campaign raised $4.7 million of the $6 million goal thus far.

The building’s completion is scheduled for May 2009. Stocker said the university will move into the building next summer, and classes will be held in the building by Fall 2009.

“All these changes are exciting,” Stocker said.

Contact international affairs reporter Rebecca Odell at [email protected].