KENT -- Kent State University is looking for ways to expand and improve the campus, highlighted by a master plan that could give insight to what the campus may look like in 10 years.
According to Tom Euclide, vice president of facilities planning and operations, the master plan will put a pause on most construction, compared to prior years.
"We're going to be evaluating the campus and how it is utilized," Euclide said. "We've hired a consultant and that person will have a huge team that will look at all the data to determine how our space is going to be used and how we are growing. They'll be looking at the city's housing study and our athletic master plan that we created a couple years ago."
Euclide said the process will take more than a year. It will give the university an idea of where buildings and sidewalks can be added, where it can go and why.
"It gives us a chance to look into the future and help us continue to grow," Euclide said. "We'll kick off this in a few weeks. Some of the things we are looking into is what to do with the recently closed KSU Golf Course.
"We're going to look into determining if we should sell it or offer it up to a developer to see if it could better serve the community. It'll also be looking at our major fundraising efforts and where future facilities should go."
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
Last fall, plans for a new KSU College of Business building were announced. The university is looking to raise between $50 million and $60 million for the new building.
"We're in the fundraising stage right now," Euclide said. "It's a huge project. We just have to find donors willing to invest in the project."
Early renderings show a three-story building of about 150,000 square feet to be located on the corner of Summit Street and Campus Center Drive.
The current Business Administration Building at 475 Terrace Drive was constructed in 1971 and is 110,000 square feet, which is not enough to house all of the business programs. Currently, business classes are held in nine buildings on campus.
Perhaps KSU's biggest construction project in 2017 will be the completion of the new Integrated Science Building between the main library and Summit Street.
Construction of the $37.5 million, 54,000-square-foot building began in the fall of 2015. It will include public common areas, instructional classrooms and labs for chemistry, biology and physics; research lab space and faculty offices, and an additional 13,500 square feet in the basement for future development.
"Right now, the drywall is being installed and the utilities are coming in," Euclide said. "We have a long way to go in that department, but we are on schedule for the building to be open for fall semester."
Taylor Hall also is being renovated.
"After the architecture department moved into their own building, we emptied Taylor Hall," Euclide said. "Communication Studies moved out temporarily so the building is empty right now. The mechanical and electrical system are being replaced.
"Bathrooms are being replaced and a new floor layout is in the works for the College of Visual Communications and Designs, as well as communication studies. That should also be done by fall semester."
A project set for this summer will be a $3 million renovation project in Moulton Hall for the College of Public Health.
"We're going to be moving the dean's office into Moulton Hall, as well as building teacher laboratories on the second floor and research labs on the third floor. We will be able to give a good main street presence to our College of Public Health in one building."
A renovation to the MAC Center also is in the works, with a focus on the interior of the building. The goal is to attract more fans inside the arena for sporting events.
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