A property swap between Kent State University and the local Delta Upsilon fraternity chapter means growth for each.
The university will exchange property at 1061 Fraternity Circle for the fraternity's vacant house at 202 S. Lincoln St. to enable expansion of the University Esplanade and clear the way for the new $40 million College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
Delta Upsilon KSU Alumni Chapter, Inc. will pay KSU $110,000, according to the agreement, which is the difference in appraised values between the properties. The university property was independently appraised at $550,000. The DU property, characterized by its blue sidewalk, was appraised at $440,000.
The agreement was approved Wednesday by the KSU Board of Trustees.
Gregg Floyd, KSU senior vice president of administration and finance, said the fraternity property is a necessary component for the new architecture college originally slated to be finished in December 2015. Doug Steidl, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, said Wednesday that building will likely open closer to June 2016.
According to the agreement, the fraternity will get the 9,600-square-foot, three-floor building that currently houses staff for the Institutional Advancement and KSU Foundation offices, so the group can refurbish it for its members.
A timeline for when that transaction would close or when KSU intends to break ground for the college has not been finalized, Floyd noted.
Eugene Finn, KSU vice president for institutional advancement, said no moves would occur until the employees of his office -- which he said total about 100 scattered among three locations -- have a new building.
Floyd said the property at 332 S. Lincoln St., the site of the former DuBois Book Store that closed in 2011, is a top location being considered for that new combined office. That property is owned by the Portage County Port Authority and leased by KSU for storage.
Floyd said that new building is roughly estimated to be about 30,000 square feet and cost between $10 million and $15 million, but noted no details are finalized.
Finn said the new office will improve operations and provide size for expansion.
"Its going to be tremendous because as we continue to grow, it's difficult for staff to communicate. And in addition to that, the three functions in those different buildings are at max capacity," Finn said. "That (new building) should accommodate not just existing staff, but also growth for future staff."
Delta Upsilon members did immediately respond to requests for comment.
In other business Wednesday:
- The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Department of Health Sciences were merged, creating the Department of Biostatistics Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology within the College of Public Health.
- The pay structure for unrepresented classified civil service staff and unclassified hourly staff was amended.
- The Kent State University Library children's study room was named The Pris and J Dub's Historical Book Nook after donors Priscilla Drach and JW Coffman.
- The Enrollment Management and Student Services Office main conference room at KSU's Astabula campus (Room A110A) was named the Judith Inman Fielder Enrollment Management and Student Services Conference Room.
- The Main Hall at KSU's East Liverpool campus was named the John J. Purinton Hall.
- A new policy was drafted establishing relationships between KSU and other educational institutions abroad.
- Redmediation-free status standards for students entering postsecondary education were adopted.
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