The Kent State University Board of Trustees this month authorized the university to continue full-speed ahead with a project to build a new facility for its nationally respected School of Art.
The new Center for Visual Arts will bring together the school’s studio, classroom and gallery spaces for the first time in more than 50 years. The project, which the board originally approved in concept in 2012, is a high-priority component of Kent State’s historic “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” initiative. In the next four years, “Foundations of Excellence” will transform the Kent campus with new buildings and major renovations designed to ensure that Kent State offers a world-class, 21st-century college experience for decades to come.
Creation of the Center for Visual Arts, which the board stipulated is not to exceed $33.8 million in revenue from a bond issue, will include the renovation of Van Deusen Hall and the existing Art Annex and connection of the two buildings with a new addition. The combination of renovation and new construction, which is expected to be done by August 2015, was determined to be the most cost-effective way to consolidate the art program, which is offered in six buildings, and to provide world-class classrooms, studios and galleries.
The 115,000-gross-square-foot Center for Visual Arts will comprise about 77,000 square feet of renovated space and about 38,000 square feet of new construction. The building will reflect Kent State’s commitment to sustainable design and operations, meeting the standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification. The building will feature WiFi access, flat-screen visual access in classrooms and studios, a fabrication studio for 3-D printing and other technologies.
Kent State’s trustees named the indoor training facility at Schoonover Baseball Stadium the David and Peggy Edmonds Baseball and Softball Training Facility. The board’s action honors the parents of Kent State alumnus David B. Edmonds, who lettered in baseball and serves on the university’s National Athletic Development Council. Edmonds, senior vice president of World Wide Services with FedEx Services, gave the lead gift of $500,000 that will allow the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to add a state-of-the-art hitting facility to the university’s baseball complex.