Kent shares new design details on chimney swift tower

A digital rendering of a chimney-like structure

The new tower for Kent’s chimney swift population will feature designs from a local artist, and the site plan includes a pollinator garden, replacing the overgrown patch of weeds currently occupying the space.

Rhonda Boyd, a city engineer, presented the details to Kent’s Architectural Review Board last week.

The 20-foot structure will be located near Kent’s new police station. The tower will be four feet by four feet and will be made of reddish-colored charcoal and buff bricks. Kent artist Emily Ulm is creating tiles depicting various pollinators, flowers and chimney swifts. The tower will also feature a stainless steel clean-out door.

The total cost of the tower is estimated at $26,000, Boyd said, adding that the city has received $1,000 from an Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife diversity grant, $1,000 from the Kent Environmental Council and an unexpected online donation of $200.

Portage County Sewer and Water is going to help with the landscaping, and a local 4-H club will help with the planting.

Of course, donations are still welcome. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the tower can direct checks to the City of Kent, attention Rhonda Boyd, Senior Engineer, City of Kent.

Boyd’s presentation to the review board was mainly a courtesy, as the board does not need to approve projects slated for public lands.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.