Kent State Board of Trustees Approves Akron Firm to Lead Design Phase for Proposed College of Business Administration Building

The Kent State University Board of Trustees approved a $3.2 million contract with Akron’s Signet Real Estate Group to lead the design phase for the new home for the College of Business Administration, a marquee building that is proposed to anchor the first phase of the Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State master plan, also called the Kent Gateway Plan.  


The project is part of the university’s Kent Gateway Plan, a $1.2 billion master plan to transform the Kent Campus and improve facilities over 10 years. The new College of Business Administration building will serve as an anchor in the transformation of the Front Campus along East Main Street, which will include a signature gateway to the university, additional green spaces and a new parking deck.


The design phase will begin immediately and culminate in summer 2019. The Board must approve further next steps for the project at future Board meetings.  


Signet brings more than 20 years of experience in successful development and facility management solutions in the areas of healthcare, higher education, research, public-private partnerships and strategic infrastructure.


“We are excited for the opportunity to create a new, iconic College of Business Administration building which will create a collaborative learning environment for business students from all over the world,” says Kevin Belt, vice president of development at Signet.


The proposed building includes a variety of classroom and learning laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, study and gathering spaces, and common areas that will encourage greater collaboration among students, faculty, staff and business leaders. The new building will model the type of learning environment that best supports students who will become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.


Signet was chosen from four finalists as offering a vision with the best overall value and most cost-effective approach for completing the distinctive project. Following a P4 approach (public-private partnership plus philanthropy), Signet is developing a variety of innovative financing solutions including philanthropic opportunities to offset project costs. This forward-thinking model includes significant naming opportunities to recognize the university’s donors for their philanthropy.


Board Approves Next Step in Partnership with Berkshire Local Schools


An exciting new educational partnership between Kent State and Geauga County’s Berkshire Local School District has moved a step closer to reality.


The Board authorized a long-term ground lease and shared services agreement with Berkshire schools to build a new PreK-12 building on 30 acres of land co-located with Kent State’s Geauga Campus.


The new school is part of Berkshire’s PRIME initiative, which stands for Partnerships for Rural Innovative Models of Education. Berkshire formed a multipartner collaboration with Kent State, the Auburn Career Center, the Geauga Growth Partnership and other community and educational entities to develop an innovative approach to teaching and learning in the district. The new building will be the centerpiece of the initiative.


Groundbreaking is set for summer 2019, and the school is expected to open in fall 2021.


Board Approves Planned Research Expansions in Integrated Sciences Building and Cunningham Hall


The Board approved laboratory build-outs in the Integrated Sciences Building and Cunningham Hall. The Integrated Sciences Building opened in fall 2017, and it included 13,500 square feet of unfinished space in the basement for strategic expansion of research laboratories. Cunningham Hall was partially renovated and opened in fall 2016, and it included 2,140 square feet of unfinished space on the third floor for strategic expansion of research laboratories.


The research expansions will contain laboratories and laboratory support areas following an interdisciplinary approach for materials science research and biology, directly supporting and providing a physical presence for the Brain Health Research Institute and supporting Advanced Materials research. The university has budgeted $8 million for this project with funds coming from two sources: $7 million from local funds designated for Phase 1 of the Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State master plan and $1 million from the state capital allocation (Senate Bill 310). Construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2019.


Center for Architecture and Environmental Design Named After University’s Largest Donors, University Concludes Largest Fundraising Year


The Board approved the naming of The John Elliot Center for Architecture and Environmental Design and the John and Fonda Elliot Design Studios. John Elliot and his wife, Fonda, are the largest donors to Kent State.


Mr. and Mrs. Elliot began their lifelong relationship with Kent State as college students in the 1960s, marrying and starting a family while John worked steadfastly to complete his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1970. The Elliots co-founded the American Medical Facilities Management LLC to provide high-quality care in West Virginia.


As their involvement with Kent State has continued to grow, Mr. and Mrs. Elliot have made additional commitments. They have provided the largest total outright gift in Kent State’s history, surpassing $12 million.


Such generous gifts have helped Kent State conclude its largest fundraising year in school history, securing nearly $45 million in private support during Fiscal Year 2018. Among its highest priorities, the university focuses on raising funds to support scholarships and student-based programming in nearly every school, college, division and program across all eight of the university’s campuses.


This year’s record is a 15 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2017, which also set a record of $38.9 million raised.


Board of Trustees Celebrates University’s Largest Freshman Class, Enrollment Successes


Kent State’s class of 2022 has arrived and is shattering enrollment records.  


The university’s Board of Trustees congratulated university leaders on welcoming 4,363 new freshmen, marking the largest class of new, first-year students in the university’s 108-year history. This class also includes more international students than last year and surpasses the size of the 2016 class, which set the previous freshman enrollment record.


The newest class of Golden Flashes arrives with impressive academic accomplishments, including an average 3.4 high school grade point average (GPA) and 23.5 ACT scores. Nearly half of these new freshmen have already earned an average of 16+ college credits – a full semester’s worth of college class work – prior to beginning their academic career at Kent State.


In addition to the growing number of freshmen, the number of out-of-state students went up nearly 10 percent this year. The number of first-generation students also rose, up nearly seven percent compared to last year. And, the number of underrepresented freshmen arrived as one of the largest in history.


This year’s total overall enrollment throughout the eight-campus system comprises 38,323 students, including 27,143 on the Kent Campus and 11,180 on the Regional Campuses. This incoming class follows a record year for Kent State’s graduates who earned 5,758 baccalaureate degrees for the 2017-18 academic calendar, surpassing the previous year’s record by more than 200 and nearly doubling the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded in 2000.


Additional areas of enrollment growth include a spike in undergraduate and graduate students in Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the College of Public Health.


Enrollment on the campuses of Kent State University at Ashtabula, Kent State University at Trumbull and Kent State University at Tuscarawas also improved.


Board Praises President Warren for Leadership, Vision in Annual Review


Board members praised Kent State President Beverly J. Warren during her annual review commending her for the university’s progress in advancing student success, research, fundraising, partnerships and the development of the Kent Gateway Plan.


The Board recognized President Warren’s outstanding contributions to the well-being and advancement of Kent State, finding that she not only met all of her performance goals for the 2017-18 year, but that the number and scope of those goals were ambitious and the results achieved have moved Kent State University forward in realizing the Strategic Roadmap. In recognition of an outstanding year as president, the Board affirmed that President Warren exceeded all performance goals for the year and would receive the full amount of her performance incentive.


Among Other Board Actions:


  • The Board named the east wing on the second floor of the Rockwell Hall Atrium as the Carol A. and Douglas M. Mancino Atrium Wing. Carol A. and Douglas M. Mancino are dedicated Kent State alumni who both currently serve on the university’s Campaign Executive Committee. They have pledged $100,000 to provide vital support to the renovation and expansion of Rockwell Hall, home of the Fashion School, as part of the comprehensive facilities master plan.
  • The Board approved a new elevator addition at McGilvrey Hall. The original elevator from 1940 still in use in the five-story McGilvrey Hall is beyond its useful mechanical life and does not meet the modern size requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A new elevator addition will provide a larger, more reliable, efficient and safe elevator. The university has received $1.1 million in state capital funding in addition to funding designated in the amount of $300,000 from facility renewal and replacement to complete the design and construction of this project. Work on this project will occur in summer 2019.
  • The Board approved roof replacement for Rockwell Hall. The hall’s roof is more than 15 years old, is no longer repairable and is in failing condition. The project will replace the failing roof with a new roof system. It will be funded with $1.5 million in state capital funds that have been allocated and are available from the state’s 2019-20 capital bill. The design phase will begin immediately with work occurring during the summer 2019 construction season.
  • The Board approved the relocation and renovation of the nursing department at Kent State Trumbull. The nursing program on the Trumbull Campus is expanding and has outgrown the existing outdated facilities in the Main Classroom Building. This project will relocate the nursing suite to currently available space in the existing Science and Technology Building. The total project estimate is $1.23 million and will be funded through existing local campus fund balance. The design team selection will begin immediately with construction work anticipated to begin in early 2019 and be completed for the 2019 Fall Semester.
  • The Board approved a resolution of appreciation to Robert Sines, who joined Kent State Trumbull in 1986 as an assistant professor and most recently served as interim dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, leading the college through a significant period of transformation. He retired on July 31, 2018. The Board expressed sincere gratitude to Dean Sines for his contributions to the education of students and the advancement of Kent State.
POSTED: Friday, September 14, 2018 01:30 PM
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 06:29 PM