The changing face of KSU

Sarah Colvin

Three major renovations on campus will cost more than $40 million

Renovations are taking place all over campus this summer. Franklin Hall, the Music and Speech Center and Oscar Ritchie Hall are the three most expensive renovations.

Here’s a peek at each:

Franklin Hall: $21 million

The construction crew is working on the final stages of Franklin Hall, said Jeff Fruit, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The newsroom is almost complete and the carpet and drywall in the building are finished, Fruit said.

The second and third floors of the building are ready for furniture and ceilings are being built on the lower level, said Tom Euclide, director of the Office of the University Architect.

Fruit said the building is expected to open this fall, but the grand opening won’t be until spring.

Franklin Hall will be equipped with a wireless network in each classroom, a converged newsroom for the Daily Kent Stater and TV2, a new studio, research facilities and video and audio digital editing facilities.

“I am really excited for the new building,” said Christina Stafford, senior public relations major. “I’ve been hearing all these great things about all the new technology, and I can’t wait to use it.”

Music and Speech: $12 million

Planning for the construction of the Roe Green Center and for the renovations of existing classrooms and offices in the Music and Speech Center is under way.

The Roe Green Center for the School of Theater and Dance will be an addition to the Music and Speech building. The renovations and construction will include four dance studios, a black box theater (which is a versatile space for experimental productions), a new entrance and lobby, a box office and a caf‚.

The building is expected to be completed by 2010.

Oscar Ritchie Hall: $10 million

The Pan-African Studies Department is in the middle of moving from Oscar Ritchie Hall to the Lincoln Building.

Walls are being torn down in Oscar Ritchie Hall as the project is in the demolition phase, Euclide said.

“The building is long overdue for renovation,” said George Garrison, Pan-African Studies professor, in an e-mail. “In some areas it is falling apart. It has sick building syndrome.”

He said Oscar Ritchie Hall will give students a sense of community and cultural diversity.

Garrison said the renovations of Oscar Ritchie Hall will be finished in Fall 2008.

Other renovations on campus are taking place at White Hall and Dix Stadium.

Contact buildings and transportation reporter Sarah Colvin at [email protected].