Demolition of Small Group Buildings Makes Way for Greener Spaces

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Bruder says the current plan is to leave the site as an open field where students can relax or play sports such as football and soccer.

The former site of seven small group student housing buildings will be transformed into a recreational area for students. The Office of the University Architect is planning to turn the space into two informal fields for student activities.

Michael Bruder, director of design and construction, says the small group buildings were demolished as they were no longer needed for residence halls due to the construction of new halls and renovations to other residence halls. Additionally, as the buildings were built in the late 1960s, Bruder says it wasn't financially feasible to make repairs and bring them up to code.

With the former site of the buildings located near the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Bruder says the creation of additional recreation fields will help turn the area into a "recreation district." The Office of the University Architect's long-range planning includes connecting trails to all of the recreation fields, courts and activities on campus.

Bruder explains that in the past, when space was needed for a new building, the recreation areas were proposed as new building sites because of their openness and availability. But, this recreation area will be a lasting addition to campus.

"Recreational Services hasn't had an area designated as a recreation field, and we wanted to provide something permanent for them," Bruder says.

Bruder says the current plan is to leave the site as an open field where students can relax or play sports such as football and soccer.

Before the demolition of the buildings, the Kent State University Alumni Association held a "Farewell Tour and Tea" for alumni and former small group housing residents. Nancy Schiappa, associate director of alumni relations, says more than 80 alums attended the event.

The alumni association has a limited supply of bricks from the buildings for individuals interested in a souvenir. Schiappa says the bricks are free of charge for individuals who pick them up, but the association will ship one for $15. Individuals interested in pick up may stop by the Williamson Alumni Center located at the corner of Midway Drive and East Main Street, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Although the small group buildings have now been demolished, site clean-up and grading is still needed before the project is finished. Completion of the project was originally planned for April, but will be weather-dependent.

From the original 11 small group buildings, only four remain: Harbourt, Heer, Stewart and Van Campen. At present, there are no plans for demolition of the remaining small group buildings.

By Lindsay Kuntzman

Return to Issue of Feb. 23, 2009 

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