CHRONOLOGY OF HPER FACILITY
PLANNING AND MAY4 COALITION
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|1963 - 1969
||The School of Health, Physical Education and
Recreation (HPER) Long-Range Planning Committee considers at least eight different sites
for a future HPER facility.
||Land on the corner of Allerton and Summit roads
is purchased by KSU with a new HPER building in mind.
October 20, 1969
|HPER Long-Range Planning Committee recommends
site at Allerton and Summit.
|April 16, 1970
||HPER Space Planning Committee recommends north
of Memorial Gym.
||Plans to build a parking lot on the field where
the National Guard maneuvered are dropped because of student opposition.
||Various construction sites are still considered.
March 4, 1974
President Olds indicates to HPER
Dean Erickson that he has opposed building north of Memorial Gym. He is assured that the
building would be a compact addition which would
not interfere with the open space and that no trees would be disturbed.
||State legislature approves funds for KSU HPER
||University administrators approve site north of
||KSU administrators hire Richard Fleischman as
|First discussion of gym site in a committee in
which a representative of student government takes part-the possibility of a
connection to Lake Hall is mentioned when a university architect incidentally comes to
Athletic Advisory Committee.
||Student Caucus members first become aware that
proposed gym site would impair May 4 historical area when the summer Kent Weekly publishes
a photo of the model and students observe soil samples being taken. Student Government
contacts the American Civil Liberties Union (which is handling the May 4 family
cases) and attempts unsuccessfully to get copies of building plans from KSU.
|November 3, 1976
||First Kent Stater article to say that proposed
gym may impose on May 4 site and destroy large trees.
|November 4, 1976
||Kent Stater quote of Trustee Blakemore comment
is first indication that trustees may vote on the issue at next meeting.
|November 9, 1976
||Concerned students meet and draw up a list of
concerns about gym plans to take to Board of Trustees.
|November 11, 1976
||A meeting, arranged between Student Caucus and
KSU administration with architect Robert Fleischman, is held just prior to trustee meeting
to discuss student concerns. Fleischman indicates that he had not been told where the
shootings took place. KSU Board of Trustees involved in decision on gym site for the first
time. Concerned students and Student Caucus present several concerns and ask that a
decision be postponed until these are addressed. Trustees express concern about
trees and May 4 legalities, but vote unanimously to send the plans on to the state
||May 4 Task Force
requests that Ohio Historical Society declare the land a historical site
||Vice President Biles proposes memorial chapel.
May 4 Task Force says it will look into this, but expresses concern about interfering with
site and that the proposal was made to draw attention away from efforts to preserve the
||Ohio Historical Society rejects application i n
15-13 vote because the site is under 50 years old. They say will write to the National
Historical Society for instructions.
||Kent Interhall Council referendum: 70% of
students polled oppose gym site. 61% disagree with method of input used.
|May 4, 1977
||Occupation of Rockwell Hall, birth of May 4 Coalition, formulation of 8
|May 5, 1977
||Mass rally of 2000 students reaffirms the 8
|May 6, 1977
||Coalition delegation meets with chair of the
Board of Trustees George Janik and is granted permission to speak to the Board on some of
||1000 people attend board meeting. Coalition
speakers present concerns, including one speaker in opposition to the gym site. Both an
HPER student and a student working in the President's office are allowed to speak in favor
of approving the site. President Olds says that the university has secured legal advice
form judges and attorneys with the May 4 case that the building would not pre-empt
"any element of the site." Trustee Dix suggests delaying the decision until
June. V.P. Bruska says that if contracts are not let by June 30 the trustees could
resubmit a formal request for the funds to the legislature. Vote 8-1 (Dix dissents) to
authorize the awarding of contracts.
||New KSU Student Caucus opposes gym site.
||Attorney for the May 4 appeals,
Stanford Rosen, writes to President Olds. He says that plaintiffs' attorneys were notified
of construction plans but 1) were never asked for a legal opinion, 2) were not told how
soon construction was planned, and 3) never approved plans.
||State Rep. John Begala publicly
voices dissatisfaction with gym site and expresses opinion that it would be possible for
the state legislature to reappropriate funds if gym plans are changed.
4, 1977 (Saturday)
||Coalition rally on proposed gym site
9, 1977 (Thursday)
||Board of Trustees name Brage Golding
new KSU President. Trustees Quirk and Dix move to reconsider gym site; motion is tabled
3-2 until protesters leave the hill.
||Golding reportedly asks that protest
||May 4 families meet in Cincinnati
after court arguments and vote to support Coalition fight.
||Gym contracts are finalized.
||Coalition pickets Gov. Rhodes in
Ravenna and Canton.
||Families of the slain and wounded
meet at Methodist Church in Kent, ask for reconsideration of site. President Olds says
that the site will not be changed and KSU will seek a court injunction against the
||Coalition marches to Rockwell Hall
(Administration building) and meets President Olds. Ohio Representatives Begala and Lehman
introduce legislation for "suitable memorial".
||Trustees Janik and Johnston and KSU
V.P. Robert Dunn reportedly meet with legislators in Columbus seeking money to move the
Trustee Robert Blakemore, in a speech, says Blanket Hill is "too attractive a site to
be used for a gym", and that the Board erred in picking this site.
Mark and Chic Canfora arrested by KSU police for trespass and disorderly conduct when
helping paraplegic Ron Kovic enter Stopher Hall. The Coalition was meeting there in the
Center for Peaceful Change with the permission of Dr. Carey. Mark and Chic were physically
abused by the police.
|July 9 (Sat.)
||President Olds issues "notice
to vacate" Freedom Hill area by 8:00 am on July 10.
|July 10 (Sun.)
||Coalition holds large rally on hill
at 8:00 am. Trustees vote 6-1 (Quirk dissents) to authorize KSU to seek court injunction.
|July 11 (Mon.)
||Portage County Common Pleas Court
Judge Joseph Kainrad issues a temporary restraining order barring protesters from the site
after 8:00 am Tues. prohibiting construction pending a July 21 hearing on a permanent
|July 12 (Tues.)
||193 people removed from Freedom Hill
by police. Rope fence is put around site.
|July 14 (Thurs.)
||Midge Costanza, President Carter's
assistant for public liaison calls Coalition congratulating us for our conduct during the
arrests and expressing concern for the controversy.
|July 15 (Fri.)
||Lynn Stovall, Guardsman who was here
on May 4, 1970 but did not shoot, goes onto the hill and is arrested. Trustees have a
meeting. Student Caucus is denied permission to speak. After an executive session, Quirk
moves to reconsider gym site now that hill is vacated but motion gets no second. Michael
Schwartz named interim president.
|July 18-19 (Mon.-Tues.)
||May 4 Coalition delegates and May 4
families meet with Washington officials. Metzenbaum and Seiberling request Secretary of
the Interior Andrus to commission a study of making the site a National Historical
|July 20 (Wed.)
||At 6:00 PM a 24-hour faculty vigil
begins at site. Position papers are read by representatives of faculty, community and Kent
|July 21 (Thurs.)
||Hearings begin in Portage County
court on KSU's injunction. United Faculty Professional Association enters as a third party
|July 22 (Fri.)
||Hearing continues. Afternoon rally
culminates in large number of people going on the hill briefly; no arrests.
|July 26 (Tues.)
||6 foot high chain link fence
replaces rope at site. Board of Trustees
meet in Canton, vote 7-2 to begin construction immediately in spite of Interior study. On
the way back from Canton, Coalition cars are stopped by county roadblock and three people
are arrested for going on the hill the preceding Friday. Albert Canfora, Sr. was also
arrested but released when it became known that he was not listed as one of the 27
warrants that day.
|July 27 (Wed.)
||Most of the remaining people for
whom there are warrants turn themselves in and are held for $2000.00 bail.
|July 28 (Thurs.)
||Coalition Attorney Whitaker appeals
|July 29 (Fri.)
||62 persons arrested for going on the
hill. Later 6 members of the Cleveland religious community also go to the site. Court of
Appeals rules 2-1 not to reinstate injunction. Construction activity begins. It is halted
2 hours later by Federal Judge Lambros by temporary restraining order after the Coalition
files lawsuit to Cleveland Federal District Court.
|August 1 (Mon.)
||KSU seeks to vacate temporary restraining order.
|August 2 (Tues.)
||At Judge Lambrose's insistence, representatives
of KSU and Coalition begin negotiations. During the meeting Justice Dept. mediator Richard
Salem ascertains that there would be a good chance of obtaining money from the Ohio
Controlling Board if the trustees would ask for it. Lambros does not rule on the motion to
vacate. Representing UFPA, Staughton Lynd files appeal in 11th District Court of Appeals.
Golding is reported to favor gym move after visit from Quirk, Dix and John Adams.
|August 3 (Wed.)
||Negotiations continue in federal court. Judge
Lambros meets with KSU lawyers for several hours, then suggests a settlement in which the
Coalition would drop its lawsuit in return for a ninety day delay in construction.
|August 4 (Thurs.)
||The 27 make an appearance in Kainrad's court
room. Ron Kovic turns himself in and is released on personal recognizance. The families
hold press conference at Pagoda; statement read by Mrs. Schroeder is to effect that only
proper memorial would be preservation of site, and that as a gesture of good faith
President White is to be dropped from Krause v. Rhodes. Negotiations
continue in federal court. The Coalition voted to explore the ninety day offer, but KSU
rejected it and similar offers.
|August 5 (Fri.)
||Negotiations continue in federal court. KSU
refuses to consider any delay in construction. The only settlement they indicate
they will consider is for the Coalition to agree to rotation of the gym if approved by the
state and to drop lawsuit immediately. KSU would not say how far gym could be rotated
until suit is dropped.
|August 7 (Sun.)
||KSU V.P. Fay Biles reportedly admits that she
has given out inaccurate information in public statements about the gym issue.
|August 16 (Tues.)
||Coalition delegation goes to Columbus to lobby
for support from state legislators.
Coalition rallies in afternoon to picket site.
|August 17 (Wed.)
||Federal Judge Lambros dismisses Coalition suit.
Coalition lawyers file appeal immediately.
|August 18. (Thurs.)
||Judge Lambros extends temporary restraining
order pending appeal. U.S. Sen. Abourezk,(D - S.Dakota) announces intention to introduce
legislation to declare a moratorium on construction until the Dept. of Interior completes
study. KSU Student Caucus votes to sue to force KSU to follow procedures for construction
projects. Caucus also calls for resignation of Dr. Fay Biles.
|August 19. (Fri.)
||University trustees held a special session.
After a two-hour executive session, they voted 6-1 to invite state legislators John Begala
and Marcus Roberto to meet with them on August 24 to discuss a plan to convert the
University's laboratory school into a new Health, Physical Education and Recreation
|August 20. (Sat.)
||A rally on the Commons featuring folk singer
Joan Baez and speeches by several of the parents of the dead and wounded students
attracted an audience of about 1,500. After the rally, about 600 persons marched to the
Kent City police station to protest the previous evening's arrests of Coalition members
following a celebration of Judge Lambros' temporary restraining order.
|August 24. (Wed)
||The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that
federal courts had no jurisdiction in the gym controversy. The ruling included a 10-day
delay in construction to allow Coalition lawyers to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
|August 26. (Fri.)
||By the time the trustees met again on August 26,
strong opposition to the idea of converting the University School had been voiced by
parents of children attending the School. Only three trustees attended the August 26
|September 3. (Sat.)
||Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart refused to
|September 5. (Mon.)
||On Labor Day, a rally was attended by about 300
protestors, who later marched to President Golding's campus home. A minor confrontation
ensued with two University police officers. No arrests were made.
|September 6. (Tues.)
||Supreme Court Justice William Brennan granted
the Coalition lawyers' request for a temporary stay on construction pending his hearing of
arguments on the appeal.
|September 8. (Thurs.)
||Justice Brennan rejected the Coalition's
arguments and removed the temporary ban on construction.
|September 11. (Sun.)
||About 300 Coalition supporters held another
rally. After about three hours, wire cutters were used to break the chain-link fence
surrounding the construction site and about 125 protestors occupied the site. Police made
no arrests, but did videotape the event.
|September 19. (Mon.)
||Construction on the Memorial Gymnasium annex
|September 24. (Sat.)
||The Coalition holds a rally of aout 3,000
protestors, followed afterwards by a campus march and a brief reoccupation of the
construction site by about 1,000 protestors after portions of the fence surrounding the
site were broken. A few arrests were made.
|October 21. (Fri.)
||Portage County Common Pleas Court Judge grants
KSU a temporary restraining order banning a May 4 Coalition rally planned for the
next day unless "the events are authorized and through proper channels and held at a
specific time and place." The order limited the rally to be held between 10am and 4
pm and to be held in an area distant from the site of the gym annex construction and the
student population. The order also stipulated that the organizers take financial
responsibility for any clean up or "damages" incurred. ( A condition that,
although part of the student conduct code was usally handled by the maintenance department
as part of its normal routine.)
|October 22. (Sat.)
||About 500 protestors meet on Kent State
University Commons for the rally in defiance of the court order. Campus police,
aided by Kent City and Streetsboro police teargas and chase demonstators around campus for
6 hours attempting to disperse the rally. Six are arrested and 4 are injured.
||The Department of the Interior refuses to
designate the site of the May 4 murders (including the site of the gym annex) as a
national historic site (which would have banned its being altered.)
||The Gym Annex is opened for use for the first
time for employees of the School of Physical Education and Recreation.
|The Final Chapter
||The justification for building of the gym annex
in the spot it was built was so it could provide athletic services to those in close
proximity to the Memorial Gymnasium (see map below.) However, in the late 1990s all of
these services were moved out of the annex, some of them into a newly constructed Health
and Wellness Center constructed on one of the alternative sites for the gym annex turned
down by the Kent State Board of Trustees in 1976.
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