While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a source of uncertainty for Kent State, construction of the Design Innovation [DI] Hub is still underway and scheduled to be ready for use for the fall 2020 semester just as originally planned. 

J.R. Campbell, executive director of the Design Innovation Initiative, explained that construction is still progressing and technology is expected to be brought in by July 2020. While faculty and staff members hope for the best and anticipate a face-to-face fall semester, they are still prepping for the possibility of remote classes. 

DI Hub

J.R. Campbell (left) and Kevin Pospichel (right) working with DI Hub Technology.

Campbell explained that colleagues are planning, testing, and prepping for this possibility by working with online distance formats like Zoom and Blackboard. “We hope for the best and plan for the undesirable,” said Campbell. 

While it would be ideal for these courses to be conducted in person so students can use the technology and resources provided in the DI Hub for their challenge-based courses, faculty are doing everything in their power so that students can receive a high-quality education for these courses regardless of the platform.

Executive Director of University Media Relations Eric Mansfield explained that precautions are being taken for the workers continuing the construction of the DI Hub.

Mansfield explained that they are practicing social distancing and the number of workers has been reduced at times to ensure the safety and health of their employees.

While the DI Hub is set to be ready on time, other projects, such as the Gateway Master Plan, expected to happen around campus may have altered timelines and start dates due to the pandemic.

“We are reviewing all capital projects and funding sources to determine next steps and construction timelines,” said Mansfield.

Theresa Lovrak covers construction and downtown. Contact her at tlovrak1@kent.edu.

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