Park proposed at Allerton demolished building site

Colin McEwen

Non-traditional student Hal Donley hopes Kent State makes a decision on the fate of a park in the area where Allerton Apartment buildings G and H used to stand.

He has two daughters -ÿa 10-year-old and a 2-year-old -ÿwho would enjoy playing in the proposed park.

“It would be nice for them to have a bigger place to play,” said Donley, who is studying architecture.

Allerton Apartments manager Brian Hellwig said he and Residence Services are exploring the options, but a public park for the area is at the forefront of the discussions.

“We want to make [the park] a nice place for people to go, with maybe a public pavilion,” Hellwig said. “The park would be more for the families. Maybe we could also put in a grill or two.”

Several university officials have said construction of a park is the only plan so far for the property. The plans for rebuilding on the land are hindered only by finances.

“There could be budgetary limitations,” said senior fiscal manager Rick Schneiderman. “Definitely, a park would be nice, if that’s what we could do.”

Betsy Joseph, director of residence services, said a park with a pavilion is being discussed, but she is unsure if the Allerton site is the best location.

“We are talking with university architects and investigating our options,” Joseph said.

Mike Bruder, assistant director of architecture and engineering, estimates the costs of building a park at $20,000.

“It’s expensive in some ways, but smaller than many other projects,” he said.

He added there is no time table for a possible park and no immediate plans, but plans to iron out the details over the coming weeks.

Hellwig said the demolished buildings were old and worn, and there was “less demand for family-type housing.”

He noted the newly refurbished basketball courts and colorful mural on an old tennis wall across the street as a recreation area for Allerton residents.

Most residents of Allerton Apartments are families, faculty and graduate students, he said.

Until the plans are finished, Donley said his two daughters will continue to play in the older, existing park.

Contact non-traditional student reporter Colin McEwen at [email protected].