Clark State to use $4M for renovations on main campus, upgrades at performing arts center

The halls of the Clark State Performing Arts Center’s Kuss Auditorium echoed with the sounds of a live performance for the first time in more than seven months on Friday evening. Brett Turner photo
Part of the $4 million Clark State is expected to receive from the state capital budget be used for maintenance and technology upgrades to Clark State’s Performing Arts Center. Brett Turner photo TURNER

Credit: Brett Turner

Credit: Brett Turner

Representatives of Clark State say money earmarked to them in the state’s capital bill will go towards needed renovations, maintenance projects and technology updates to several buildings under the college’s ownership.

Clark State is slated to receive more than $4 million in the latest round of the state capital budget bill, that totals about $2.1 billion.

Money earmarked to the college will go towards renovations of the second floor of Rhodes Hall on its main campus. Those funds will also go towards the replacement of the boiler and chiller at the Applied Science Center, which have not been replaced since that building was built in 1970.

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About $1.1 million out the more than $4 million that will be allocated to the college will be spent on maintenance and technology upgrades to Clark State’s Performing Arts Center.

That information was provided to the News-Sun by Clark State’s President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin.

Blondin said those projects are focused on addressing maintenance and repairs to protect current investments in facilities, increase the energy efficiency of buildings while reducing operating expenses, enhance technology for the current and future learning environment as well as increase safety and wellness features where appropriate.

Renovations that will take place on the second floor of Rhodes Hall, including classrooms, will be different than prior renovation efforts done in that building.

Previous monies allocated from the last three state capital cycles went towards the renovations of the building’s third floor, including classrooms, faculty offices, hallway improvements and restrooms, Blondin said.

The last time renovations were done on the second floor of Rhodes Hall was in 1986, Blondin said.

“Rhodes Hall houses general education transfer programs, and the Applied Science Center houses all health-related programs, such as Physical Therapist Assistant and Nursing, as well as Athletics,” Blondin said.

“These heavily used buildings are in need of renovation to upgrade technology and the physical learning environment to current standards. Nearly 70% of Clark State’s credit hours are in general education and health-care related fields,” she added.

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Clark State is also planning to upgrade sound and security systems at the performing arts center as well as replace theatrical lighting along. There are also plants to replace and rewire the projection system in the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center.

“In addition, there is a need to create a covered walkway between the Hollenbeck-Bayley Creative Arts/Conference Center and the Performing Arts Center as well as ensure (the Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance for seating,” Blondin added.

The college has previously replaced the roof at the performing arts center as well as enhanced the lobby, using capital and local funds.

Capital budget bills are passed every other year and fund billions in repairs and construction of state-owned facilities - like Clark State’s - as well as community projects.

The bill also earmarks $250,000 to renovate the Springfield Museum of Art.

By the numbers:

$4 million - amount earmarked to Clark State in Ohio’s capital budget bill

$3.3 million - earmarked for a renovation of Rhodes Hall at Clark State’s main campus

$1.1 million - amount that will go towards Clark State’s Performing Arts Center

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