'Campus Green' Project Under Way at Kent State

$2.8 million project will extend Risman Plaza, reroute Risman Drive in front of the Kent State Student Center

Construction officially started Wednesday on the "Student Green" area at .

The project will extend the recently renovated Risman Plaza south towards Summit Street and will create a new lawn area that includes a student performance space.

The university issued the following statement about the start of construction:

Fulfilling the commitment Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton made to students, the university today began initial construction activities on the Student Green project in the Kent Student Center area, located at the heart of the campus. The new Student Green will extend from the recently renovated Risman Plaza to the lawn area south, creating a contiguous green space from the current student center plaza to Summit Street.

“This 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,” said Gregg Floyd, Kent State’s senior vice president for finance and administration. “It 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.”

The Student Green project with the expanded lawn area will create an attractive, student-centered space at a major “front door” 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.

“The Student Green also provides a new gateway to the campus from Summit Street, making it an inviting access point for visitors to the campus,” explained Brian Pickering, project manager – landscape architect in the Office of the University Architect at Kent State. “It will be located right across from the Admissions Office area, making it more visible to prospective students and their families.”

The vista into the heart of campus will be a tree-lined lawn along with pathways in and out of the center of campus.

“I 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,” Floyd added. “The Student Green project will add further beauty to our campus and also support the needs of our students.”

Construction activities will ramp up after commencement ceremonies occur in early May. Following graduation, the eastern portion of Risman Drive – which currently separates the lawn space from the plaza – 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.

John Williams April 06, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Looks great!
Anonymus April 09, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Lester Lefton is a selfish, egotistical, child. Yes, I said it because no one else will. He has the audacity to call his students whiney over a tuition increase, that was said in earlier articles to go towards renovations of science buildings, gets a grant to do it, still raises tuition, puts excess tuition on top, and then wastes $3 million for benches and pavement. Clearly when your income exceeds that of doctors, lawyers and the U.S. President, you are better then the rest of the general public...
Anonymous April 09, 2012 at 03:40 PM
As a graduating senior here at the Kent campus I have been continually appalled over this last academic year by the way the university has no problem raising fees and instituting new fees. To add to the lack of faith I have in President Lefton as a person who has students bests interests at heart, I read the highly offensive email associating the backlash from students over the latest tuition increase to bad children. Apparently the President would like to apply a little French parenting to "his children" here at Kent State. The ridiculous need to continually build newer and better facades for the University while letting many buildings sit in embarrassing wreckage (The Art Building, Van Deusen, and McGilvery to name a few) says a lot to current students. The main fact is that Kent State doesn't care as much about you once you've signed up and start attending, they're only interested in getting you to make that commitment to attend. The only reason I have stayed here to finish my degree is because I have had excellent support from faculty and some staff. The price tag on Kent State education does not equal the education actually received in this students opinion.


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