YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Kilcawley Center has been the student union on the Youngstown State Campus for 58 years. Built in 1964 when Howard Jones was still President, Kilcawley is outdated and in need of a renovation – and that’s an option. But the other option is to build new. Kilcawley’s future was the topic of the presentation at a student union meeting at YSU on Monday.
Amy Maceyko of the Pittsburgh architectural firm WTW unveiled the two plans for a student union: either renovate the existing student union, Kilcawley Center, or build new at the corner of Lincoln and Fifth, where a parking deck now stands.
“And so that parking deck is slated to be demolished in the next couple of years. That site is going to open for a future Youngstown State building, and that could be the student union,” said Maceyko.
Maceyko listed pros and cons for both options.
Renovating Kilcawley would keep the student union at the center of campus and would be less expensive. But it limits some opportunities and during renovation may need shut down.
Building new would create a visual connection with the quad, allow for more efficient use of space, and be an opportunity for a roof patio. But it would also lose the connection to the rec center and be more expensive.
“The benefit of a new union is that it’s a new building so we wouldn’t have to worry about deferred maintenance,” said Maceyko.
“I am personally of the belief that a renovation here would be best. I know that some of the people mentioned that this is a commuter school, and I think parking should be taken into account,” said Austin Browne, a YSU student.
“Honestly I’m kind of split between renovating or relocating. Both have benefits and both have cons as well,” said Domonique Sak, a YSU employee.
There were no drawings of what building new would look like, but if Kilcawley is renovated all food services will be consolidated, there would be an outside dining area, and a late-night zone created.
If it’s decided to build new, a section of Kilcawley near Kilcawley House and a section near the Rec would remain with the middle of Kilcawley Center being demolished and made into green space.
“Just assume anything I say is not final,” said Maceyko.
A steering committee put the student union plan together with the help of 25 different on-campus groups.
The plan will be taken back to those groups with the options presented on Monday.
The YSU Board of Trustees will make the final decision. The start of construction, either renovation or new, is still at least four years away.