Construction Zone: Update on Construction Projects at Kent State

The following is an update from the Office of the University Architect on construction and renovation projects underway across Kent State's eight campuses.

With the first phase of construction complete, Intercollegiate Athletics' staff and students are now occupying the new Academic Athletic Resource Center in the MAC Center.  Photo by Jeff Glidden


Baseball Field Improvements

Varsity Baseball Field renovations continue. Synthetic turf was installed on the field and concrete is curing for the new home and visiting teams’ dugouts. Phase two of this project will address the grandstand, parking and concessions.

Bowman Chilled Water Plant

The new Bowman chilled water facility is currently under construction. In the existing equipment room, demolition of the old chiller equipment continues. Near the Bowman Hall loading dock, foundation work is underway for the addition to house the chiller and its associated mechanical equipment.

Campuswide Electrical Improvements

This project involves upgrading the medium voltage distribution cabling, building transformers and selective main distribution panels within the following buildings: Bowman and Satterfield halls, Business Administration Building, Michael Schwartz Center, Lake, Olson, Stopher and Johnson residence halls. The construction contract should be awarded by early February and then a detailed project schedule, including planned, multiple building power outages, will be developed.

Franklin Hall Rehabilitation

Currently architects are refining their designs of the revised addition to Franklin Hall. Engineers are working with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Office of the University Architect to record the building system requirements, including HVAC, electrical, telecommunications and audio visual components. Documents to bid the existing building rehabilitation construction are well underway, while the plans for the new addition have reached the design development phase.

Kent Hall Addition and Renovation

During winter break, the university began occupying the second and third floors of the renovated Kent Hall structure, although construction continues in and around the building. The first floor is expected to be approved for occupancy by the end of the month; however, the basement will not be finished until this summer. Inclement weather and multiple renovation issues have prevented completion of the re-roofing, window installation and basement finishing. Basement waterproofing and paving at the face of the building, tasks added to the original project scope, will limit access across the north side until mid-February. As a result of this additional work, new sidewalks and site lighting will further enhance the finished project. ADA access to McGilvrey will be maintained throughout the work schedule. Until occupancy is approved by building inspectors, only construction personnel are permitted in areas still under construction. Please follow contractors' signs and do not enter restricted construction zones. Exercise caution near the site, as construction traffic will remain active in the R-18 lot through project completion.

Koonce Hall Toilet and Shower Room Rehabilitation

In Koonce Hall, the toilet and shower rooms will be reconfigured and rebuilt, including new piping, ventilation and fixtures. Currently in the design phase, this project will be released for bidding in March for construction during this summer. The new facilities will be finished before the return of Fall Semester 2005 student residents.

Lake/Olson Modifications for the School of Art

In Lake/Olson, the former architecture and interior design studios, as well as the old cafeteria, are being modified for use by the School of Art’s fiber arts and painting programs. Demolition began over winter break and wall framing is underway. New studio and lab spaces are anticipated to be completed this spring.

Library Electrical Distribution Upgrade

In the Library, the new electrical feeder busway has been energized while the old busway is being removed. New draw-out type breakers and lighting type control panelboards were installed, with wiring and components for the control circuits to follow, prior to being programmed for the building automation system. One final, building-wide, power shutdown will be scheduled for spring break in order to remove the old busway, install additional metering and grounding, and add controls for the new breakers.

MACC Academic Athletic Resource Center

Intercollegiate Athletics’ staff and students are occupying the new Academic Athletic Resource Center in the MAC Center. Phase two construction has commenced and will be completed in March. Visual Communication and Design’s Glyph[x faculty and students are assisting with designing the graphics for the interior of the resource center.

MACC Entry Roof

Plans are underway to replace the roofing over the main entrance to the MAC Center.

Music and Speech Center HVAC Improvements and Chiller Replacement

Music and Speech Center’s new steam absorption chiller is now staged in the A-B mechanical room. New chilled and tower water pumps are in place as piping installation continues. The ground floor "D" wing corridor work outside the Music Library is nearly finished. Throughout the building, air handling unit upgrades have commenced and new heating coils for all units, except "B" wing unit B-1, are complete. Air handlers have not yet been balanced, resulting in possibly warmer space temperatures. In addition, with more contractor work still required for these units, they might also need to be periodically turned off, therefore resulting in cooler space temperatures. In anticipation of potential room temperature extremes during this fine-tuning phase, please dress accordingly to allow for these varying degrees of your comfort level. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.

Stockdale Steam Feed

The existing utilities servicing the Stockdale Safety Building will be replaced. New steam and condensate piping and a communications ductbank will be installed from the Kent/McGilvrey tunnel up to Stockdale's mechanical and electrical rooms. This project also entails building a retaining wall behind Kent Hall, installing a new ADA ramp, and paving the parking lot between Kent and McGilvrey Halls. Bids for construction will be accepted in mid-February.

Stopher and Johnson Residence Halls Replacement, Honors College and Site Improvements

Despite the extreme winter weather conditions, construction continues on the foundations for the Stopher and Johnson replacement halls and new Honors College. Contractors have begun to install underground piping and also the masonry walls. Site work and elevator packages will be issued for rebidding in February. Construction activities are expected to be completed for university occupation by Fall Semester 2006. Construction progress can be viewed via the Web cam:

Student Center Addition and Renovations

Upgrades to the Student Center’s major mechanical systems progressed over winter break and will conclude in late spring. Construction plans for this spring and summer include building a new north entrance, expanding the loading dock, and replacing mechanical equipment.

Summit Street Power Plant Cogeneration Turbine 2

Construction of the new addition to the Power Plant, with only minor mechanical work remaining to be done, should be finished by the end of the month. The new cogeneration turbine is now online and the final phase of systems programming is planned for completion this May.

Terrace Drive Heating Plant Rehabilitation, Phase I

Over winter break, the School of Art’s wood and metal sculpture labs relocated from Vogias Garage to the newly-renovated Art Annex at Terrace Drive Heating Plant. The fourth floor is still under construction but should be ready by the end of April so that the clay sculpture program can set up their studios.

The PORTAGE: Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge

The Portage, a pedestrian/bicycle bridge, will be built over State Route 261. This bridge will link with community bike and hike trails, in cooperation with the cities of Kent and Ravenna, the Portage County Commission, the townships of Ravenna and Franklin, and the Portage Park District. Bids for construction of The Portage are anticipated to be issued by ODOT in March.

University Esplanade

The esplanade is now open to Hilltop Drive. Installation of bollards and landscaping will be completed this spring.

White Hall Facade Repairs

Stone panel replacements to the exterior faÇade of White Hall are nearing completion; however, repairs to the plaster ceiling above parking areas will be deferred until weather improves. Please respect the construction barriers while traveling in this vicinity.


Ashtabula Health Science Building

Designs are progressing for a new science building for Ashtabula Campus. The new facility will house the nursing program, science laboratories, general classrooms and offices.

East Liverpool Classroom Building Interior Renovation

At East Liverpool Campus, Classroom Building renovation designs are underway. The reception desk and student services area will be completely renovated and a new student lounge across from the library is being planned. Faculty offices, as well as a classroom and computer lab, will also be renovated.

Geauga Campus Science Labs Renovations

At the Geauga Campus, the existing biology lab will be completely renovated and a new chemistry lab will be created for the general sciences and biomedical programs. In addition to upgrading and/or replacing their floors, walls, ceilings and teaching facilities, the project will include ventilation improvements; replacement and expansion of laboratory fume hoods; and plumbing, lighting, power and data enhancements.

Salem Campus Building Additions and Expansions

To accommodate the expanding nursing program at Salem Campus, architects and engineers are currently designing the conversion of the existing gymnasium, locker rooms and racquetball courts, along with various science laboratories.

Stark Campus Center and Addition to the Fine Arts Building

Stark Campus’ chilled water system is being expanded to serve the new Campus Center as well as the Fine Arts Addition. Piping in the Campus Center mechanical room is being revised to accommodate the new equipment. Existing underground piping south of the center will be extended to serve Main Hall, while sustaining its current pumping system. Direct buried branch piping will be extended and capped inside the building at the Library and Main Hall east wing for future connections. Excavation for the direct buried piping is expected to begin in late March and will be routed south of Campus Center, to the east side of the Library and Main Hall east wing, and due west to enter at the Main Hall mechanical room. Operational disruptions are expected to be minimal due to the location of construction activities; however, pedestrian walkways will be maintained and/or might be rerouted if necessary.

Stark Campus Pond Development

Currently, the original farm pond, now a marsh, is being excavated on the Stark Campus. A landscaped pond, including plantings and other enhancements, is being developed with an established woodland buffer zone surrounding the pond.

Stark Campus Student Parking Lot

Stark Campus’ new student parking lot is being planned for installation southeast of Main Hall, encompassing the existing gravel lot. Accommodating approximately 178 cars, this new lot will have site lighting, a concrete sidewalk, and a stairway leading to Main Hall.

Please Note: Construction activity on the following projects is ongoing. Other than what is noted above, there will not be any significant changes that will impact pedestrian or vehicular movement on the Kent Campus. If such changes occur, related information will be posted as a top news story on Kent State University's home page.

For additional construction information, please contact Jacqueline Mest in the Office of the University Architect at 330-672-7992. The Office of the University Architect the Web site can be found at

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