Starting September 12, construction workers swarmed the Lewis Quad lawn, bringing dirt and machinery with them. They are there to take out the gravel and replace it with more attractive grass, and the result will be a more pleasant yard for students to enjoy.
When LQ was built, the gravel was put in place with the idea that it would be more able to withstand student and vehicle traffic. They also wanted to make sure that emergency vehicles could get into the complex easily. Over the years, however, the gravel has become problematic. Associate Vice President of Planning and Facilities, Charles “Chip” Jackson, explains that, “[the gravel] gets pushed everywhere, it doesn’t look very good, it gets tracked into students’ units and up the steps so the steps get worn out. It’s not as pleasant in terms of using the lawn.”
The administration decided that grass would be more attractive and that it could be installed in such a way that it could hold up to the walkers and the occasional vehicle traffic. To help ensure that the grass iswell-maintained, they are using a grass called Zoysia which is a wear-resistant strain. The yard is also built on a solid foundation, which will make it easier for vehicles to drive on.
Every year, Residence Life, the Facilities Department, and the Physical Plant get together to decide how to allocate the about $0.5 million budget that they can use to improve the residence halls. The administration had been talking about possibly removing the gravel and replacing it with more attractive grass for a few years, and now it is finally happening.
The project will take about two weeks and will cost $48,000. Although the task may sound simple, the construction team has to remove all of the gravel and then replace that with the new soil. Then they put in irrigation lines, which involves putting all of the water pipes under the ground, and then they can actually put in the sod and complete the project.
The project is projected to be completed on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Jackson says that his goal is “to make [Lewis Quad] a better space for students,” and he seems optimistic that this project will make it a more attractive and pleasant place to be.