â€œThis is the second phase of a project to create an attractive entrance to campus for our university family, university guests and prospective students considering enrollment at Kent State,â€ said Gregg Floyd, Kent Stateâ€™s senior vice president for finance and administration. â€œIt also fulfills a promise to our students from President Lefton to provide attractive outdoor space dedicated to casual student use, as well as programmed student activities. Response to the Risman Plaza renovations has been very favorable, and the energized atmosphere produced by the heavy student use is great for the campus.â€
The Student Green project with the expanded lawn area will create an attractive, student-centered space at a major â€œfront doorâ€ to campus. It will include a performance stage that is intended to support student use. The stage will project back into the main campus with the new Student Green area and student center plaza serving as a backdrop.
â€œThe Student Green also provides a new gateway to the campus from Summit Street, making it an inviting access point for visitors to the campus,â€ explained Brian Pickering, project manager â€“ landscape architect in the Office of the University Architect at Kent State. â€œIt will be located right across from the Admissions Office area, making it more visible to prospective students and their families.â€
The vista into the heart of campus will be a tree-lined lawn along with pathways in and out of the center of campus.
â€œI am very proud of the good work provided by our facilities and grounds staff to produce an attractive and inviting campus for our university family and guests,â€ Floyd added. â€œThe Student Green project will add further beauty to our campus and also support the needs of our students.â€
Construction activities will ramp up after commencement ceremonies occur in early May. Following graduation, the eastern portion of Risman Drive â€“ which currently separates the lawn space from the plaza â€“ will be closed, and traffic will be redirected to the western end where a new traffic light will be installed to allow both ingress and egress of vehicles. In addition, a new drive aisle will be constructed to provide for bus and vehicle drop-off at the Kent Student Center bus stop area.
The expected completion of the Student Green is mid-October 2012. The cost of construction of the Student Green is $2.8 million.