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Kent State Board of Trustees Approves $150M in Campus Construction Projects

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Kent State University’s board of trustees hired the Ruhlin Co. to manage the $150 million, four-year construction and renovation project known as the “Foundations of Excellence, Building the Future.” The Sharon Center, Ohio-based company was selected after a competitive bidding and interview process.

During the next four years, Ruhlin will manage these four primary projects:

  • The renovation of the Cunningham, Smith and Williams halls, the most heavily used science buildings. The project also calls for the construction of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) addition to increase academic and research spaces.
  • The construction of a new College of Architecture and Environmental Design building. The 120,000-square-foot building will be located near the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, which will open next June.
  • The rehabilitation, reconstruction or replacement of the arts complex.
  • The construction of a new three-story building for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology. It will stand three stories tall and will be between 40,000 and 50,000 square feet.

The projects total nearly $150 million. They are financed in part through the university’s issuance of $170 million in general receipts bonds.

Kent State’s board of trustees approved a number of other actions, as well, including $5.9 million in bond revenue funds to be used for a project to renovate the Olson Center for Undergraduate Studies, built in 1961. The 10,000-square-foot Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (MACC) Annex will be renovated using $2.5 million of the $170 million bonds acquired for campus-wide construction and is expected to be completed by next summer.

Almost $7 million will be used to upgrade the four buildings that make up the Eastway Residential Complex, a $2.6 million project that will bring the showers and restrooms in the 53-year-old Prentice hall in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, while another $4.5 million will go to the renovation and expansion of the Field House locker rooms.

The board also voted to purchase a 0.27-acre property located at 213 S. Willow St. in Kent for $200,000, authorizing the university to enter into a 15-year lease with the Portage County Port Authority. The lease includes an option to buy the property and will allow the the university to use the 3.75 acres at the corner of Summit and Lincoln streets in Kent.

Photo credits: www.facebook.com/kentstate