New entrance of the Student Center opens for business

Kelly Cothren

Jenny Lucas, senior crafts major, Daniel Kleinmann, senior hospitality management major, and Joe Elias, economics graduate student, pass through the new back doors of the Student Center. Lucas said the balloons tipped her off as to whether the doors were

Credit: Steve Schirra

The new north entrance to the Student Center finally opened for business yesterday.

The entrance, which was originally scheduled to open before fall semester began, now opens up to the second floor of the Student Center next to the Music Listening Center.

“We looked around for the best spot to put the door, and the second floor was the only option because of the loading dock and offices on the first floor,” said Jon Harper, assistant director of the Student Center.

The new entrance was also built to accommodate disabled students.

“We built a ramp so the handicapped students can easily use the new entrance as well,” said Jackie Parsons, executive director for the Kent Student Center and Dining Services. “It also helps if they are coming from that side of campus because they do not have to go all the way around the building.”

There were several delays in building the entrance, Harper said.

“One delay was the waterproofing company took longer than we planned,” he said. “We also had to wait for some things to be delivered, such as lights and the railing for the handicap ramp. We were not allowed to open the entrance until we had the handicap railing installed.”

The new entrance cost a little less than $900,000, Parsons said.

The construction also included a reorientation of the loading dock. There have been more deliveries to the building because of the new Hub shops and something had to be done to make shipping and pedestrian traffic more compatible, Parsons said. The new construction separates the two kinds of traffic.

William Ross, executive director of Undergraduate Student Senate, and Edward Moreira, Graduate Student Senate Colloquium chair, were both involved in the ribbon cutting yesterday.

“The door was for the students, so we thought it was important to have students cut the ribbon,” Parsons said.

Ross agreed that the new entrance will be beneficial to students.

“It will improve access to the Student Center,” Ross said.

The rationale for the new entrance came from watching student traffic patterns. In order to enter the building, students coming from the north part of campus had to walk around the whole building before they could enter, Parsons said.

Contact building and ground reporter Kelly Cothren at [email protected].