Kent State University's art-based disciplines and their components, from classrooms to galleries and studios, soon will be combined into a single facility for the first time in more than five decades.
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The Center for the Visual Arts will merge Van Deusen Hall and the Art Annex with a new addition physically connecting the two, ultimately providing a home to art classes and programs now spread across six buildings.
The KSU Board of Trustees green lit the project and the solicitation of public bids Wednesday.
The university will finance the construction costs, which are not to exceed $33.58 million, by selling bonds.
The project will renovate the two existing buildings, while additions will create 38,000-square-feet of new space. The new facility will be 115,000-square-feet in total.
Tom Euclide, KSU's associate vice president of facilities planning and operations, said preliminary work has already begun, and the complete facility should be finished by next summer.
"You'll see in-depth work starting this summer and carrying all the way until it's finished," he said.
KSU Trustees also gave their blessing Wednesday to a project for a new Institutional Advancement building that will house offices for the KSU Foundation and Alumni Relations.
Those related offices are now located at 1061 Fraternity Circle. KSU is under contract to swap that land with property at 202 S. Lincoln Street belonging to a Delta Upsilon fraternity chapter in order to clear the way for its new $40 million College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
The new Institutional Advancement building will be built at the corner of Lincoln and Summit streets on the former site of the Dubois Bookstore. KSU is leasing that property from the Portage County Port Authority and has the option to purchase it in the future.
Gregg Floyd, KSU's senior vice president for finance and administration, has said the building is estimated to cost around $15 million. It will feature 32,000-square-feet of space for offices, meeting rooms and event space both inside and outside.
The project will be financed through the KSU Foundation and the Alumni Association.
According to an agreement the KSU Foundation must still approve, the Foundation would sub-lease 61 percent of the facility's space, and the remaining area would belong to the Alumni Association.
The KSU Foundation's board of directors are scheduled to review their end of the agreement today and tomorrow.
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