A new promenade is currently under construction between the recently finished Center for Environmental and Life Sciences building and older Mallory and Shmitt Halls, providing students with an easier way to navigate the east side of campus.
The walkway, which will span from Richardson Hall to College Hall, will be constructed in phases over the course of the fall semester. Each phase will feature new amenities aimed towards making the campus more vibrant for students, including the addition of 50 new lights, 40 large trees and several new seating areas in front of some of the campus’ hot spots. The first phase runs from Richardson Hall to Schmitt Hall.
Students can look forward to enjoying a rain garden and boulder-seating setup in front of the new Center for Environmental and Life Sciences building, along with 20 benches being added between Mallory Hall and Schmitt Hall. Upperclassmen may recognize that the “constellation” sculpture that previously stood in front of Life Hall now has a home in front of the CELS building.
The center section of the promenade is the next step of the project and accounts for much of the construction students are bound to see while walking to class. Additional cafe and chairs will be added in front of Cafe Diem and Sprague Library, eliminating the struggle to a find a seat during “rush” hours.
Memorial Auditorium will also receive a new entrance plaza to better accommodate theater guests.
Similarly, the School of Communication and Media will receive a revamp over the course of the promenade’s construction. In the meantime, students needing to enter Life Hall during construction will need to do so through Memorial Auditorium.
The walkway will continue down to College Hall and Morehead Hall and will eventually run in front of the upcoming School of Communication and Media building. The new hall will connect Life Hall to Morehead, thus fully integrating the College of the Arts.
Trees will be planted in the upcoming weeks during the optimal planting season in an effort to create more beautiful scenery on campus. The greenery should appear around mid-fall. New benches and lawn areas throughout the walkway will give students more places to relax between classes and even on-the-go, while new “streetlights” now line the first phase of the promenade in front of the CELS building.
“It’s very pretty and open,” said freshman Jeff McLellan. “It makes me feel more hopeful about the future of my campus.”
“It’s a lot nicer than what used to be there,” junior Tess Reynolds observed. “It makes the campus feel more homey and it’s nice to see some progress after watching the place under construction for so long.”
Though the first section of the promenade is primarily completed, students can expect to navigate through construction between Cafe Diem and Life Hall for a majority of the semester. Nevertheless, both freshman and returning students alike are reacting positively to the pathway.