Foundations of Excellence Initiative Brings Exciting Transformations to Kent State

University’s Division of Institutional Advancement launches website with live views of new building initiatives

One of the most all-encompassing transformations in university history is taking place right now at Kent State University. The Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future initiative includes the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and establishment of dynamic, new spaces. These projects support academic success, while demonstrating Kent State’s leadership in campus safety, accessibility and sustainability and serving as a powerful magnet for top students, employees and partners.

Newly completed projects include the new home of the Wick Poetry Center and the Poetry Park, the Lester A. Lefton Esplanade, the Tri-Towers Sky Lounge at Wright Hall and a 12,000-square foot addition to the Kent State Field House. Projects underway are the Center for Undergraduate Excellence at Olson Hall and the Sciences Building at Kent State University at Stark.

These exciting developments on its campuses mirror the exciting projects underway in the city of Kent and in many communities served by Kent State Regional Campuses. When the Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future initiative is realized, Kent State be able to say that it was part of an investment in the future totaling nearly $700 million; helped create nearly 1,700 jobs; and improved the quality of life in Northeast Ohio.

You Can Help Shape the Future 

Alumni, friends, faculty, staff, foundations and corporations are donating vital funding for Kent State programs through the Foundations of Excellence (FoE) Campaign. Learn more about these exciting opportunities on the Foundations of Excellence campaign website launched by Kent State’s Division of Institutional Advancement and watch the future being built in real time by visiting showcases the latest efforts of the Foundations of Excellence initiative at the new Aeronautics and Technology Building, the Center for the Visual Arts, and the Center for Architecture and Environmental Design. The website features renderings of what the new buildings will look like, live webcams at each construction site, animated flyovers of all the changes on campus, interactive floor plans with gift and naming opportunities, college videos and much more. 

Projects highlighted on the website include:

Aeronautics and Technology Building: Construction is well underway at the new facility for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology. The proposed building is approximately 55,200 square feet and will include air traffic control training rooms in a lower level, classrooms and shop areas on the first floor and faculty offices and classrooms on the second floor. 

Center for the Visual Arts: Construction also has begun on this project, which combines two existing buildings: Van Deusen Hall and the Art Annex/Power House. Through repurposed and new construction, the College of the Arts revitalized studios, classrooms and gallery spaces will include approximately 115,000 square feet of space that will provide access to a range of media, resources and expertise.

Center for Architecture and Environmental Design: This new structure will present Kent State as an economic and design force in Northeast Ohio, and will consolidate College of Architecture and Environmental Design students, including those in the construction management program, in one location, enhancing peer-to-peer learning that is vital in the design fields. It also will maximize the interaction of faculty, students and administration and aid in efforts to continue to integrate the campus and community, all while demonstrating the university’s commitment to sustainable design and operations. The groundbreaking for this new building will take place Oct. 3.

The Foundations of Excellence projects will advance student success and allow the university to keep pace with growing enrollment and anticipated future growth. Visit to see the continued transformation of Kent State.

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Media Contacts:
Deb McGuinness,, 330-672-0419
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Monday, September 29, 2014 12:52 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 11:03 AM
Deb McGuinness