Rowan University is constantly growing in size, both geographically and student population, which makes it seem as if there is always some kind of construction to add to the campus. The most recent construction sites can be found behind the Campbell Library along Meditation Walk and in the Wilson Hall Performing Arts Courtyard.
The Facilities, Planning & Operations Department welcomed new faces this summer who hit the ground running with new projects. Dave McNamara, assistant vice president of design and construction, came in this past May along with Joseph Campbell, vice president of facilities, planning and operations, who came in in June. The ongoing projects that students are seeing on campus are part of a 10 phase plan that goes with the funding given to the department.
“Basically its to provide open space…we have some storm water issues and we have a storm water permit with the state,” McNamara said. “There were certain compliance issues we had with that and this is correcting it.”
The flooding on campus has been an issue for students and faculty in the past. Because of waterlogged sidewalks, students would have to find alternate ways to class and parking lots were occasionally closed off.
“The idea is to slow down water that comes to the stream because that’s what causes a lot of the flooding,” Campbell said. “So a lot of the work that we are doing with the plantings and other things are replacing the solid surfaces with more impervious kinds. It is all designed to slow down the water.”
Meditation Walk is being transformed into a concrete stair structure with handrails facing brand-new plantings.
“Another large piece of this project are plantings that can only take place in the fall,” Campbell said. “Anything requiring new plantings needs to take place in the fall.”
The plantings are going to help soak up the accumulating rainwater in order to avoid flooding. The stairs will create a place for students to gather and hang out outside of the classroom and dorms. The other project still taking place is in the Wilson Hall Performing Arts Courtyard. This space is going to be opened up and redone in order for students to have a new space to hang out, interact and relax. There are plans for pavers to come in, a new amphitheater, new lighting and plantings. Campbell stressed the importance of this project when it came to commencement this summer. The planned on having a new beautiful space to utilize during this time.
“We are still working on the [Wilson Hall Performing Arts Courtyard] due to weather issues over the summer,” McNamara said. “But the main goal was to get the closed sidewalks reopened for the beginning of the school year in order for students to plan their classroom commutes with ease.”
These projects are not the only ones being accomplished by the new team. They also replaced the windows on the east side of the Westby Hall, fixed windows and leaks in James Hall and refurbished Robinson Circle. They have a lot of plans in the works for the upcoming year including a new academic building, a revamp of the student center and implementing a reforestation project.
The Meditation Walk and Wilson Hall Performing Arts Courtyard are both on schedule to finish by the end of the year.
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