‘Stater’ office to become visitors’ center for May 4

Kelly Pickerel

Once the Daily Kent Stater newsroom relocates to Franklin Hall, the vacant space will be renovated to house a May 4 visitors’ center. Construction for the new center is not planned to start until next year. ABIGAIL S. FISHER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

A permanent location for a May 4 visitors’ center has been established in Taylor Hall.

The soon-to-be vacant Daily Kent Stater office on the first floor of the building will eventually house a center dedicated to the memory of the May 4, 1970


Associate Provost Laura Davis said President Lester Lefton has identified the location, but no further plans have been made.

“There’s a mission statement and work on possible grants,” she said. “There still needs to be fundraising efforts and formal planning.”

Davis said there is an informal working group of various people within the Kent State community working on ideas for the center.

“The trend in museums is to organize space according to ideas you want to get across,” she said. “There will be an exhibit of some sort, but the focus hasn’t been determined.”

Stephanie Vincent, May 4 Task Force president, said a visitors’ center has been needed for a long time.

“We have hundreds of visitors every year, and they don’t know where to go,” she said. “The center would provide a good starting point for visitors.”

Vincent said she thinks the center should be different from the current May 4 Resource Room located on the first floor of the University Library.

“I would like to see a lot of basic info, photographs and a guide to the memorial (in the new center),” she said. “I think everything in the library should stay separate.”

The whole first floor of Taylor Hall will be under construction through next summer, Davis said, because of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s move to Franklin Hall. Whether or not work on the visitors’ center will start during that time is still up in the air.

“It’s highly unlikely construction (on the May 4 center) will begin this year,” she said. “The president still has to approve everything and funding has to start. Construction won’t begin until next year.”

Alan Canfora, one of the nine wounded in 1970, said at a task force meeting that a good amount of money should be spent on the center.

“If it’s going to be a world class visitors’ center,” he said, “you’ve got to spend money.”

Canfora also said now is a great time to begin work on the center because there are movies and documentaries about May 4 currently in the works.

“We need a visitors’ center because more people will be coming (after the release of new productions),” he said. “We need factual, accurate info to provide to them.”

Contact student politics reporter Kelly Pickerel at [email protected].