Kent State embarks on 10-year, $1 billion transformation project

Kent State embarks on 10-year, $1 billion transformation project
A rendering shows the potential future view of the new iconic main entrance to the Kent State University campus as seen from Main Street. (Source: Kent State)

KENT, OH (WOIO) - The Kent State University Board of Trustees has adopted a 10-year, $1 billion facilities master plan that aims to significantly transform the 108-year-old campus.

The plan is designed to enhance overall aesthetics, elevate inclusive healthy living-learning environments, link a campus-wide series of spaces focused on innovation and create more integration with the city of Kent, according to Eric Mansfield, Kent State's executive director of university media relations

The master plan would be implemented in three phases over the next decade.

"Everything we do must be through the eyes of our students, both today's and tomorrow's," said Larry Pollock, chair of the Kent State Board of Trustees in a prepared statement. "These enhancements will meet the needs of students for decades by providing them with the engaging, educational space they need to help shape the world. Each phase holds thoughtful enhancements focused on our students first commitment that will also raise the prominence of the university, the city of Kent and all who call this region their home."

In addition to building improvements and purpose-built classrooms, studios and labs, the plan includes a walkable campus core with new sidewalks and bike trails and proposes the extension of Kent State's iconic Front Campus to include a signature Main Street gateway to the university.

A new College of Business Administration building, new green space and a modern parking deck would replace current parking lots near the gateway entrance.

Closer to the city of Kent, an innovation zone is planned adjacent to the Starbucks/Captain Brady site.

New 24/7 maker spaces, multidisciplinary studios and dining would form an innovation hub within the redesigned Art Building to meet student, faculty and staff needs.

Proposed teaching and learning enhancements include an addition to the Aeronautics and Technology building, a new Kent State University Airport classroom building, research lab expansion at the Integrated Sciences Building and renovations to the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (MAC Center) and Kent Student Center.

The strategies were developed with broad input from a series of town hall and community meetings, and several informational sessions were held to seek input from students, faculty and staff.

This 10-year plan will touch every college on the Kent Campus and strengthen our connection to our home city of Kent.

Click here for a full outline of the plan.

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