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Electronic Community Sign Could be Running by Fall Semester

City, university finalizing plans for downtown community sign

An electronic community message board planned as part of Kent's downtown redevelopment could be online before the start of fall classes at .

Both city and university officials met Friday with the firm that submitted the lowest bid for the project, Cleveland-based Brilliant Electric Sign Co. Representatives from the sign company met city and university officials downtown where the sign will eventually stand at the northeast corner of the Haymaker Parkway and South Water Street intersection just in front of the new Davey Resource Group building.

Kent State and the city have agreed to split the costs of the sign evenly. The digital message board will advertise programs and events run by both the city and university.

Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said the city plans to have the sign finished and operational before fall classes start at Kent State.

John Williams April 10, 2012 at 04:42 AM
I do like all the new acorn alley buildings. However I'm not a big fan of the "Acorn" name. The name sounds kind of childish to me.
Jon Ridinger April 10, 2012 at 05:23 AM
The message board will hardly be a "jumbotron". If you want an idea of what it will be like, go to the intersection of 43 and Tallmadge Road in Brimfield. What Kent will have will be slightly larger than the full-color LED board Brimfield has, slightly larger than a large TV. The picture here on Patch made it look a LOT bigger than it really is. This is a link to the original plans for the sign, which was supposed to have been built almost 2 years ago: http://www.kent360.com/3079-community-message-board.html I'm no fan of the name "Acorn Corner" (won't surprise me if he changes his mind on that) or even the signage used at Acorn Alley, but that's hardly the new standard all over downtown Kent. I don't feel like anyone is saying that we want all of downtown to be just like Acorn Alley (no indication that the Davey or Ametek buildings, hotel, or PARTA garage will use the same signage as Acorn Alley). But hey, if someone is going to put up the millions to build it, they can call it what they want. I'll take the "Acorn Corner" over the dilapidated and crumbling "old hotel" any day (though good luck getting me to call it Acorn Corner!).
Chris (Kit) Myers April 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM
The pro side of this is that it will advertise events occuring in Kent, leading to vitality and adding to the city coffers by people attending them and spending money. The con side is that reading an electronic sign can be very distracting and not conducive to keeping one's mind on one's driving. This is a very busy intersection. We will see...
Tom Simpson April 13, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I sure hope the major events and significant activities held in Downtown Kent are included. PLEASE including non-university or city funded activities. IE. Blues Fest, Art & Wine, Reggae Fest, Folk Fest, art shows, Film Festivals, activities at Hometown Bank Plaza, Cider Fest, Acorn Alley Plaza, The Kent Stage, Standing Rock events, etc. While these may not be univertsity or city activities, they bring tens of thousand of people into downtown.
Matt Fredmonsky April 13, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I love the discussion on this story. Lots of good points about the overall style of Kent's new redevelopment. I think this is a larger question private and public planners may have missed. How the pieces all fit together technically (infrastructure improvements, way-finding signs, etc.) have been a focus of the projects, but "architectural style" has largely been left up to the individual projects with regards to city sign, building and downtown design guidelines. My apologies if the picture makes the sign appear overly large, but I was trying to give people a reference point of the sign in front of the new Davey building, and that was difficult to do on that corner without standing in the middle of that intersection!

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