For decades, Kent State University has been separated from the city of Kent by a 4-lane bypass lined with chain-link fence. This division will be history after the University finishes its $100 million renovation that includes a walkway that will connect the campus to the town.
Making the town accessible Kent State’s student will be mutually beneficial for the school and the city. '' KSU President Lester Lefton said, ''Our goal is to make Kent the Ann Arbor of Portage County,” referring to the mecca for Michigan State University students.
So far, KSU has spent $3.3 million to acquire 16 properties that extend the walkway of stamped concrete and brick pavers through a residential neighborhood that surrounds Kent. Starting next spring, the university will spend another $3.28 million, this sum will go towards the demolition of the homes it has purchased and installing the esplanade, a gateway entrance to campus, trees, shrubs and gardens, lighting, furniture and emergency phones.
Construction is predicted to begin next spring/summer.