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Kent State Moves Forward With Creation of Center for the Visual Arts

Posted Mar. 17, 2014

The state-of-art studies at Kent State University will soon be state of the art in every way. The Kent State Board of Trustees has authorized the university to continue full-speed ahead with a project to build a new facility for its nationally respected School of Art. The new Center for Visual Arts will bring together the school’s studio, classroom and gallery spaces for the first time in more than 50 years. The project, which the Board originally approved in concept in 2012, is a high-priority component of Kent State’s historic “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” initiative. In the next four years, “Foundations of Excellence” will transform the Kent Campus with new buildings and major renovations designed to ensure that Kent State offers a world-class, 21st-century college experience for decades to come.

Creation of the Center for Visual Arts, which the Board stipulated is not to exceed $33.8 million in revenue from a bond issue, will include the renovation of Van Deusen Hall (former home of the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology), renovation of the existing Art Annex (former university heating plant) and connection of the two buildings with a new addition. The combination of renovation and new construction, which is expected to be completed by August 2015, was determined to be the most cost-effective way to consolidate the art program, which currently is offered in six buildings, and to provide world-class classrooms, studios and galleries.

The 115,000 gross-square-foot Center for Visual Arts will comprise about 77,000 square feet of renovated space and about 38,000 square feet of new construction. The building will reflect Kent State’s commitment to sustainable design and operations, meeting the standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The building will feature Wi-Fi access, flat-screen visual access in classrooms and studios, a fabrication studio for 3-D printing and other technologies.

New Kent State Program to Cultivate Agribusiness Experts

A new Kent State degree program in the high-demand and rapidly changing agribusiness industry has received overwhelming support from community, business and government leaders in and around Tuscarawas County. Kent State’s Board of Trustees today established a Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness, effective Fall Semester 2014. The program will be offered at Kent State University at Tuscarawas through the university’s Regional College, with the opportunity for future expansion.

Agribusiness is a complex economic system that affects every member of the global community – from producer to consumer – and is a critical industry in Ohio and nationwide. It includes farm production and businesses that supply seed, fertilizer, chemicals, feed, fencing and equipment, and comprises sectors such as financing, insurance and marketing. Students in the new program will be prepared for jobs including management in an agribusiness firm, agricultural commodity merchandising, finance and lending, real estate management and investment, international trade, entrepreneurship, agricultural production, relationship and sales management, and food marketing and advertising.

The addition of an agribusiness degree program is the brainchild of a broad-based, New Program Development Task Force at Kent State Tuscarawas. The task force conducted a needs assessment and hosted a community focus group that included representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, local economic development councils, Farm Credit Services, local high schools and universities and farm owners. In addition, a 14-member Agribusiness Advisory Board, comprising representatives from the local extension agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, Farm Credit Services, and Soil and Water Conservation District, contributed support and expertise toward the creation of the curriculum, which was developed in partnership with the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Each representative involved in the needs assessment and program development affirmed a need for such a program and expressed overwhelming support for its creation at Kent State Tuscarawas.

Click here to see more of the summary of Board actions from March 12.