Kent State Trustees Approve a $1 Billion, 10-Year Transformation Plan

Mar 7, 2018

This rendering shows what Kent State University President Beverly Warren hopes will be an innovation hub in space that's currently not geared for 21st century learning.
Credit KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University’s Board of Trustees today approved a 10-year, $1 billion campus transformation plan, the first since 1996.

The first phase of the plan includes construction of a new College of Business Administration building as part of a new grand entrance to campus.

The $72 million facility would be funded through what Trustee Shawn Riley calls a P-4: a “public-private-philanthropic partnership.”

“You often see public-private partnerships in these types of buildings and then at the same time philanthropy working to raise the dollars. As far as we can tell, we’re the first that have linked them together and gone to our developer candidates and said, ‘As part of your proposal, tell us how you would introduce a philanthropic piece to help us fund the ultimate construction of this building.’”

Those opportunities can include naming rights, creative lease agreements or even donating the building to Kent State in the future, since it would be owned by the developer.

The first phase would draw on $30 million in state funding, $64 million from the school and $127 million from “public-private-philanthropic partnerships.”

University President Beverly Warren says the goal is not only to make the campus more connected to the city, but also to upgrade and expand existing facilities.

“We have outgrown space in Rockwell Hall for our School of Fashion. If we added the expansion, students will come to our third-ranked-in-the-nation School of Fashion. We’ve outgrown our School of Business Administration building, nor do we have the kind of spaces that would attract talent.”

Warren says the school will look at proposals from four developers in mid-April.

Other parts of the transformation plan would upgrade the school of music and Dix Stadium, move traffic to the outskirts of campus and add parking garages, bikeways, and walking trails.