Fine Arts Building


The 65,000-square-foot Fine Arts Building at Kent State University at Stark was constructed in 1972, when the campus enrolled 1,800 students. Enrollment reached 2,500 in 2004, and a 20,000-square-foot addition was constructed to accommodate the growth. Today, every one of our 5,000 students takes one or more classes in the 85,000-square-foot building. It is time to once again transform to meet the needs of our students, as well as expand opportunities to the thousands of community members who visit our campus annually to take advantage of our arts offerings.



Groundbreaking for the expansion phase of the project took place in the spring of 2017. This stage is expected to take one year to complete and will add 15,000-square-feet of new space. The renovation phase will begin in the spring of 2018 and also will last one year. During this stage, 17,000-square-feet of the Fine Arts Building will be redesigned and renovated.


The expansion phase of the project will create two music technology studios. Kent State Stark’s music technology program is the fastest-growing degree program on campus. This is due in large part to the fact that Kent State Stark is one of only a handful of universities in the country to offer a bachelor’s degree in music technology. Students from across the world (Puerto Rico, China, Oregon, New York and Pennsylvania) come to Kent State Stark to earn this degree. 

In addition to new tracking and recording studios, the expansion phase will also create:

  • A new recital hall for concert band, choir and ensembles
  • More than a dozen group and individual practice rooms
  • A study lounge for students with movable furniture to allow for creative collaborations

The project will also involve the selective renovation of classrooms, piano labs, practice areas and offices within the existing building including areas recently vacated when the new Science and Nursing Building was completed in 2015. 

In the theatre department, the renovation phase of the project includes:

  • Updated costume design areas
  • A new sound and lighting classroom
  • Updated ADA compliance features to provide individuals who are physically challenged access to all areas of the theatre
  • Addressing antiquated theatre stage rigging with a new multi-use rigging system
  • A “black box” theatre that will offer exciting opportunities to both students and the community to produce smaller, intimate productions

The art department classroom renovations will include:

  • Shop area dust collection system to address air quality issues in the sculpture studio
  • Exterior sculpture production area to enable students to produce sculptures in the open air, also allowing viewing of the production from the outside
  • An addition of two interior art gallery spaces to allow expanded art exhibitions for the campus and community
  • Construction of a new ceramics studio 


The expansion and renovation of the Kent State Stark Fine Arts Building will result in numerous opportunities to collaborate more robustly with the Stark County community, including:

  • Partnering with local YMCAs to bring children to campus for art projects
  • Collaborating with the Canton Museum of Art to bring exhibitions to the new Visiting Artist gallery 
  • Continuing open auditions to the public for theatre performances and concert band
  • A better utilization of space after the renovation phase, allowing for a more prominent space to host the annual Scholastic Art Exhibit on campus
  • Opportunities for Kent State Stark music technology students to use the new recording studios to score Canton Film Festival entries
  • Collaborating with the Canton Symphony and Voices of Canton
  • Potential collaborations with the Pro Football Hall of Fame


Brian Gardner
Sr. Facilities Manager
131B Main Hall