New project brings new jobs

Jessica Sprowl

Biggest U.S. traffic controller to expand to Kent

After joking about finishing early so that Dave Wise, a Kent planning commissioner, could get home to watch “American Idol,” the Kent Planning Commission approved the building concept and site plans for Area Wide Protection Services, Inc.

AWP is planning to open a warehouse and office on Overholt Road.

From its Web site, AWP has become the largest traffic control operation in the United States, and the new building will bring about 50 new jobs to Kent, plans administrator Gary Locke said.

The new building will have a 10,000 square-foot warehouse and a 4,000 square-foot office, said Amanda Lee, an architect working on the project and a 2000 graduate of Kent State.

Mark Pollock, the general contractor on the project, told the commission there would not be any large semi-trucks or heavy traffic coming through the area when the building is complete. Just some box trucks, he said.

Pollock also said there would not be any heavy equipment on the property or noise problems with the new building.

“I think it’s a great project, and great for the city,” planning commissioner Matthew VanNote.

As of right now, there are no major problems with the site plans, and it is a straight-forward project, Locke said.

The one issue discussed was the storm water draining system, but the area can be dealt with, Pollock said. The area just needs engineered.

“We’re glad they (AWP) picked Kent,” Locke said, “and it will have a nice operation over there.”

Contact public affairs reporter Jessica Sprowl at [email protected].