Construction on the North Quad revitalization project begins this week, and fences have been set up around the area to protect passers-by.
The project is intended to better weave the iconic quad into daily activity on a growing campus. Potter Square, the area south of the 1899 Bar & Grill, will be integrated into the area for student and visitor use.
Before and after photos as well as a project overview are available here.
“We are trying to prepare this campus for 25,000 students by the year 2020,” President John Haeger said during a campus-wide forum in early July. “We must create a sustainable campus—not just now but for 10 years from now and beyond.”
The quad project will eliminate roadways while bringing the area into fire and life/safety code compliance. Features will include dark sky-compliant lighting; decorative ADA-compliant multi-purpose pathways that also provide emergency access; a small amphitheater for informal gatherings, classes, seminars and performances; and revitalized landscaping that will preserve most of the existing and healthy mature trees while incorporating new trees and other elements.
Input from two forums as well as a half-dozen walking tours provided designers with the opportunity to realign the fire lane and preserve additional trees, including a cluster of locusts near Taylor Hall that some have dubbed “the Sisters.”
All the designated memorial and historic trees will remain, including the McCormick Rose and the Washington Elm, which already is receiving care to extend its life. New shrubs, plants and trees will be planted, including hardy varieties in varying trunk diameter and tree heights to integrate into the existing canopy.
Once completed this fall, the North Quad will be home to about 150 trees, showcasing a healthy mix of evergreen and deciduous varieties. The changes to the North Quad are part of the university’s 2010 master plan, which was developed through wide campus participation and input.