All a part of the master plan.... well, the answer would be NO.
So when Kent State began to request work bids for repurposing the rec rink into a marching band facility, it made me think... was this all a part of the master plan? This took me to the page of the office of the university architect to look over the master plan outlined there. I did a little digging through all sections of the 10 year plan, adopted by the board of trustees in March of 2018.
Phase 1: 2018-2020- In this phase of the 10 year plan there is no mention of renovation or expansion of the recreation rink in the Ice Arena.
Phase 2: 2021-2023- This would be the phase that university currently falls under. Again there is no mention of any renovation or expansion to the Ice Arena.
Phase 3: 2024- 2027- Again no future mention of renovations or expansion of the recreation rink in the Ice Arena.
Phased Independently: On this page of the OUA website, it lists projects to completed but with no timeline for these projects. I would assume that these could occur any time during the 10 year plan. This section located on the website does make mention of a Glauser School of Music Renovation, but there is no mention of an expansion. In this section also under the same link, there is no mention under recreation expansion for any projects at the ice arena.
This master plan also fails to address the needs of an aging Ice Arena. It would seem that the writing could be on the wall as it pertains to the future of this building. As a building that is 50 years old, I am sure that there are some desperately needed renovations. No where in this 10 year master plan is there any discussion to renovate this building. Perhaps with updated equipment, such as new chillers, insulating materials, and a new roof, the Ice Arena could stand to turn a profit. These updates would allow the rink/rinks to run all year bringing in additional revenue. As to the question if there is demand for ice, simply just drive by any night of the week (when it reopens) and you will have your answer.
To sum it up, in their own 10 year master plan, no where does Kent State outline any plan for the repurposing or expansion of the Ice Arena. To an outsider looking in, it would appear that while Kent State has adopted this master plan, they have failed to implement it according to their own outline and timeframe. In their first phase, many projects listed have not been completed or are just now being started in 2021. The university certainly cannot use COVID as an excuse for their failed attempt at a master plan as COVID did not happen until March of 2020. It appears that Kent State picks and chooses what projects to complete, despite outlining their plan approved by the board of trustees. The Ice Arena is the an on-campus building used by MANY community members to include not only Kent, but surrounding Portage and Summit county communities, and for some reason remains low on the priority list for Kent State. Could this indicate their "who cares about the community" attitude that many community members feel is displayed by the university?