Year in Review: Kent State moves out of 'Old School,' opens doors to new campus

From Staff Reports Published:

Twinsburg -- While Kent State University opened the doors to its new $24 million satellite campus on Creekside Drive this fall, the bell may have tolled for the "Old School" on Route 91 early in 2012.

For the last 90 years, the Old School has served both Twinsburg and Kent State students, automotive workers and even fans of Victorian-era baby carriages. But because of the prohibitive costs to renovate the facility -- estimated by the city, which owns the iconic building, at between $4 million and $8 million -- the city may have to raze the structure.

The decision to do so has not yet been made by City Council.

"I know there is a lot of emotional attachment to the building, but unfortunately I think the city's hands are tied," said Councilor Gary Sorace in May. "It is just too costly to bring the building up to code."

Meanwhile, down the road, Kent State's new campus took shape throughout 2012, necessitated by its spike in enrollment from 200 to 900 students between 2004 and 2012.

The new 45,000-square-foot campus, which broke ground early in 2012, offers a nursing program, as well as bachelor and master's degree programs. The campus can now accommodate up to 1,500 students, and the city has responded to possible traffic flow issues by agreeing to add left turn lanes and widen the road at Creekside Drive and Route 91, a $1 million project that city engineers hope to complete this year.

And a second building may be on the way at the KSU satellite campus.

The university owns more than 16 acres where the new facility sits, and still has more than 10 acres on which to construct.

"We don't have any sort of formal timetable for a Phase II yet, but we definitely have the land to do it," said Dr. David Mohan, dean of the Kent State University Geauga Campus.

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