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University, City Come Together for Hotel and Conference Center Groundbreaking

Posted Sep. 26, 2011

enter photo description
President Lester A. Lefton addresses the audience during
the groundbreaking of the Kent State University Hotel and
Conference Center on Sept 19.

Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton joined members of the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors, developer and Kent State alumnus Ron Pizzuti of the Pizzuti Companies and Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center on Sept. 19. Members of the Kent community, elected officials and university representatives also witnessed the special occasion.

The project, part of the $100-million redevelopment of downtown Kent, Ohio, is a partnership between the Kent State University Foundation and the Pizzuti Companies of Columbus, Ohio

According to Lefton, the conversation of having a hotel in Kent has been in the works for 40 years. He highlighted the public-private partnership that is now making it a reality and emphasized the downtown redevelopment has been a team effort involving many organizations and individuals who are committed to it.

Pizzuti, who grew up in Kent and received his bachelor’s from Kent State, reviewed some of the features of the new hotel and conference center. It will have 95 rooms, 5,400 square feet for meeting space, an indoor pool and an exercise room. Pizzuti says the cost of the hotel and conference center is estimated in excess of $15 million. Though the hotel and conference center’s opening is listed as spring 2013 on a sign on the site, Pizzuti says he hopes to speed the opening date up.