COLUMBUS -- The state Controlling Board OK'd Kent State University's plans to purchase a property adjacent to its main Portage County campus for $2.2 million.

The location, which is owned by GDR Partners, is located at 430 E. Main St. along KSU's Lester A. Lefton Esplanade, "a critical and heavily utilized pedestrian link between the campus and the downtown business district," according to documents.

The parcels house a coffee shop, bookstore and parking area and will continue that usage for at least three years or until the current lease expires, according to documents.

"No student tuition or fees will be used to pay for the parcel under review," according to documents. "University investment proceeds have been set aside for all property purchases associated with this initiative."

The KSU trustees earlier OK'd the acquisition.

Also Jan. 23, lawmakers released nearly $1.6 million for improvements to the Fine Arts Building at KSU's Stark County campus. Plans call for an 18,500-square-foot addition for KSU's music program, including the construction of two audio recording studios, according to documents. Other existing areas will be renovated.

VenDrick Construction Inc. of Brookfield is handling the work.

The Controlling Board also released $900,000 for a lab control upgrade at KSU's Liquid Crystal Materials Science Building in Kent. The project involves the replacement of existing pneumatic fume hood controls and other systems.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.