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Esplanade Construction to Start Monday

Demolition of houses, grading work scheduled to start

Esplanade Construction to Start Monday

Construction on Kent State University's Esplanade, the pathway that will link campus to downtown Kent, is scheduled to start Monday.

Kent State spokesperson Emily Vincent said the work will include excavation of Erie Street, tearing down house plus relocating underground utilities.

"And spreading the stockpiled soil (that is currently on the north side of Erie Street) to raise the grade for the new esplanade extension," she said in an email.

The wide, sweeping pedestrian pathway will link the campus to the major redevelopment projects under way downtown, including the new .

The Esplanade extension will travel directly west from the atrium of the to Haymaker Parkway, where it will meet a new stop light at the intersection of Erie Street, the new Kent State hotel and 's Kent Central Gateway.

"You will be looking at Franklin Hall when you walk out of the hotel," Kent State University President Lester Lefton told Kent State trustees in June. "There will be this big, park-like setting with tall gates that read 'Kent State University' on them."

The project has been  as the university bought properties in the neighborhood so its on-campus leg of  The Portage Hike and Bike Trail could link to downtown Kent.

The university spent more than $8 million buying land in the neighborhood west of campus since 2007.

As of early June, the university owned 33 properties in the neighborhood that have been bought in the past five years. Seven more properties were pending transfer of ownership to the university or state approval for the expenses. 

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