Renovations at Eastway Center to bring first-year programming under one roof

Katie Garland

Residence Services’ summer work includes new electrical systems, expanded wireless access

Kent State dorms aren’t full of students this summer, but they aren’t empty either.

Construction and renovation crews are updating and renovating several dorms this summer.

Eastway Center and the four adjoining dorms are undergoing one of the largest renovations over the summer.

Starting in fall Eastway will become the home for First Year Experience. Students, their advisers and Dining Services will all be in the complex.

“It’s going to be a one-stop shop,” said David Taylor, assignments and marketing coordinator.

Renovations include making the building wheelchair accessible. Workers will also install new elevators, sidewalks and door hardware.

Certain rooms will be renovated to meet the standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Marijean Benedik, assistant director of residence services. She added that all four dorms would have wireless Internet.

Renovations will also be made in Prentice Hall. After the fire last spring, the building was refurbished, but further improvements will be made. This includes new fire-raided doors to replace the doors that were affected by the fire.

Last week a new electrical outlet system was installed and tested in Prentice, Taylor said.

Fire and security system upgrades are also being installed in Tri-Towers. In the new system, information about where a fire is can be broadcast over an intercom, allowing students to get out safely.

“There has been no downtime in the system because students are living in the building this summer, but they have been testing the system with everything from people talking to playing Britney Spears,” Taylor said.

With the addition of Stopher and Johnson halls two years ago, some of the buildings that are a part of Small Group phases I and II are old and no longer needed, Benedik said.

Harbourt and Heer, both part of Small Group I, are slated to be demolished in August, but no final decisions have been made, Benedik said. Also, six buildings in Small Group II are tentatively planned to come down in October.

“They are going to sell what they don’t want (furniture), keep materials that can be saved and reused, and the rest will be destroyed,” Benedik said.

There are no plans for the additions of new dorms, but it is possible that intramural fields will replace the buildings of Small Group II that are torn down.

Contact student affairs reporter Katie Garland at [email protected].