I don’t know if it’s just the sunny skies or what — but things are looking great all over Kent. Old buildings are getting a new lease on life in downtown Kent and Kent State University has been busy all summer upgrading it’s campus borders with new signs, banners, lights, plantings, street pavement and sidewalk crosswalks. Just about everyday I’m getting updates from the Kent State Architect’s Office announcing some temporary road closure or another to accommodate all of the construction their so busy performing. I’ve had folks that have lived here their whole life say that from the outside looking in the campus has never looked better.
We spend a lot of time working with the faculty, administrators and students at Kent State to build the relationships that we’ll need to be great partners — and that’s important — but when it comes to town gown relations nothing beats spending money at your borders to look great. Nobody likes living next to an unattractive property but everybody loves it when your closest (and biggest) neighbor embarks on major upgrades to the parts of their property that you see everyday. That’s what the University has done over the last 18 months and this summer we’ve really begun to see the fruits of their labor.
I suspect the centennial anniversary celebration in 2010 has something to do with this flurry of investment but I don’t care about their motivation as much as I am grateful for their results.