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“This is one of the most amazing things that could ever happen to a city. In a small town like this, it might only happen once every 100 years. I have to admit I’ve never seen anything like this.”
- Howard Boyle, Hometown Bank

Foundations of Excellence - Building the Future


Completed Projects

arch smallThe Lester A. Lefton Esplanade

The Lester A. Lefton Esplanade is part of the solid partnership between Kent State University, the City of Kent, and PARTA. 

The Esplanade officially ends at Haymaker Parkway. However, through a coordinated planning effort with the city of Kent, a new crosswalk and traffic signal have been installed to align with the Esplanade on the city road and allow pedestrians to cross Haymaker safely into downtown.

Sky lounge smallTri-Towers Sky Lounges

Koonce and Wright Halls now have new sky lounges on the 10th floor of each building. The gathering areas are just over 3,000 square feet. 

A dedication ceremony was held on October 15, 2014 to commemorate the finishing of renovations for Tri-Towers.



parta3PARTA Multimodal Facility  

The project includes the construction of a new bus transfer facility in downtown Kent with parking spaces to support planned development. The facility will include commercial space and bicycle storage to improve transit accessibility in Kent and linkages to Cleveland and Akron. The Kent Central Gateway improves connections between city neighborhoods, Kent State University and downtown Kent. The project also expands travel options and connects multiple modes of transportation.

Kent State Hotel streetviewKent State University Hotel and Conference Center

This brand new, state of the art hotel features 94 guest rooms and suites, including amenities such as complimentary WiFi, fitness center, indoor pool and spa, and room service. The Hotel's Conference Center features over 5,000 sq feet of flexible event and meeting space, a 10 seat boardroom, and complimentary 24-hour business center. The space is ideal for conventions and conferences, as well as weddings, parties or other events. The Hotel's own restaurant-Zenas, and the lounge-Nineteen10, are located on the first floor of the hotel and feature chef-styled cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. These eateries are open to the public as well as hotel guests.

View of Student GreenStudent Green 

The Student Green project with the expanded lawn area creates an attractive, student-centered space at a major "front door" to campus. The new Student Green extends from the recently renovated Risman Plaza to the lawn area south, creating a contiguous green space from the current student center plaza to Summit Street. It includes a performance stage that is intended to support student use. The stage projects back into the main campus with the new Student Green area and student center plaza serving as a backdrop.

Current Projects

Center for the Visual Arts Future Home for the School of Art

The new Center for the Visual Arts will combine two existing buildings (Van Deusen Hall and the Art Annex/Power House). Through repurposed and new construction, we will unify the college's studio, classroom and gallery spaces, currently located in various buildings across campus, under one roof. The facility includes approximately 115,000 square-feet of space that will provide access to the range of media, resources and expertise that have distinguished the school for tradition, innovation and technologies. Construction has begun and is expected to be completed in late summer 2015.

View the Art live construction webcam

Center for Undergraduate Excellence

Prominently located on the Lester A. Lefton Esplanade, Olson Hall is home to the College of Undergraduate Studies. The existing office and meeting space will be completely renovated beginning Spring 2014 and will include a new addition featuring an open common area for students and Wi-Fi bars. The building, which will be called the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, is scheduled to be completed in March 2015. During the renovation, the College of Undergraduate Studies offices have relocated to the fifth floor of the Kent State Library.


Center for Architecture and Environmental Design

The Center for Architecture and Environmental Design will bring all of the programs in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) under one roof. The Construction Management program will also be housed in this new building. The proposed facility is approximately 107,000 square feet and will be located between South Lincoln and Willow Streets, just south of the Esplanade. The building is scheduled to be completed in Summer 2016, and open for classes Fall Semester 2016.

Learn more about the building's Design Competition

Kent State University at Stark - Sciences Building

The building will consist of approximately 41,140 square feet of new space and renovations to approximately 5,250 square feet. The new building will support the Science and Nursing programs at Kent State Stark, including the science teaching and research laboratories, and nursing laboratories and classrooms. The building will also include general and computer classrooms, faculty offices and a student cyber lounge. The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2015.

View the Stark live construction webcam

Upcoming Projects

  • Integrated Sciences Building