Ping-Pong, Connect Four and bocce ball being considered
April 13, 2017
The former site of the now-demolished Kennedy Commons, which once housed meeting and classroom space, is getting a new look.
University officials are soliciting student feedback for a new landscaping project in the area dubbed “Kennedy Mall,” which is bordered by Swig and Dunne Halls on one side and McLaughlin-Walsh Hall on the other.
Dave Machado, director of Housing Building Operations, said the Housing Office has considered installing features such as an outdoor Ping-Pong table, an oversized Connect Four game, a bocce ball court and large adirondack chairs.
Putting grass in the area is not a viable option because of the shade, according to Machado.
Current Dunne residents recently received a survey, asking for their input on how the outdoor space should be equipped.
One part of the plan, however, is already set in stone. According to Machado, a circular section of pavement will be laid between Dunne, Swig and McLaughlinWalsh Residence Halls, and a path will connect the main entrance of Swig and the back entrance of McLaughlin-Walsh to this central point.
The circular pavement will function as a seating area, and may include an art installation.
Hoping to design a space that will draw students in, the landscaping project will also include a barbecue area.
Originally, university officials planned to build a glass tower on the Kennedy Mall at the corner of Dunne. The tower would have been the final touch on the Dunne renovations done last summer, in which a new air conditioning system was installed and the building’s interior finishes were updated.
However, after the change in plans to the less-costly landscaping project, Dunne residents received an email on March 31 notifying them that landscaping would begin on Kennedy Mall on April 3.
Machado said the glass tower will be erected later down the line, loosely estimating that the project will be completed in four years. In the meantime, his office hopes to make Kennedy Mall a useable space for students.
“There’s just a desire right now from the university to focus our financial resources in other areas at this time,” Machado said. “Also, with increased enrollment, we’d like to build a new residence hall.”
Just outside of Dunne, green fences outline the perimeter of the former construction project. Within those green fences are piles of dirt and various construction machinery. Though the project was set to begin over spring break, Machado said that “rain and other obstacles” delayed its start.
This construction-turned-landscaping project is estimated to be finished by the end of spring quarter.
Contact Meghan McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.