April 17, 2014
The university will invest $6.9 million to transform the open lawn area on North Campus into a vibrant destination spot for the university community.
The project, called North Campus Grove, was approved by the Board of Regents during its April 17 meeting.
Plans call for a new central plaza, new walkways and integrated seating throughout the four-acre area. New trees will be planted, improved lighting will be installed, and infrastructure will be upgraded to support outdoor activities and events.
"The North Campus Grove project will greatly improve the quality of this outdoor space, creating more vitality and activity at the core of the North Campus and providing more opportunities for interaction across disciplines," said Timothy Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Plans also call for an informal amphitheater, designed with the flexibility to host a wide range of outdoor activities and events, such as markets, performances and student activities.
The vision for the North Campus Grove project grew out of the 2008 North Campus Master plan and ideas generated through the 2007 WorkPlay competition.
The master plan provides for comprehensive and coordinated pedestrian, bicycle, transit and vehicular systems within the boundaries of North Campus, all planned with user convenience, comfort and safety.
The plan also focuses on the quality and vitality of North Campus as a unique destination, identifying opportunities for siting facilities and services to make the space a vibrant, around-the-clock destination for the broader community.
The WorkPlay competition, sponsored by the College of Engineering and Arts on Earth, called for the submission of innovative designs for an attractive and interactive gathering place for North Campus. The competition was designed to promote innovation and collaboration across academic disciplines, and to create an attraction that draws people to North Campus.
The themes behind the entries were developed by teams of students and faculty that worked together with a design professional to combine their visions.
Funding will be provided from gifts and CoE resources. The landscape architectural firm Stoss will design the project,
The project is expected to provide an average of 27 on-site construction jobs. The university will return with a construction schedule when it seeks approval of schematic design.