A project under way at The University of Toledo is transforming the landscape south of Memorial Field House.Doug Collins, director of grounds and off-site facilities, said that the primary purpose of the construction is to develop a safe and sustainable environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
He said the renovations include updating the asphalt, which is done regularly, and adding a raised sidewalk in front of Memorial Field House, where the striped crosswalk used to be. All the sidewalks and building entrances are being built in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, he added.
A landscaped entry island is being created at the corner of West Campus Road and West Centennial Drive to stop vehicles from continuing forward onto the sidewalk, a situation Collins said has been confusing in the past.
The area also is being landscaped with trees and shrubs and will continue to be used as a green space on campus, Collins said.
“There are ornamental trees, flowering trees, shade trees and conifers, which are the evergreen,” he said. “There’s interest throughout every growing season between the foliage and the flowers with different textures to give interest year-round.”
To allow work around some of the utilities and pipes in the area, soil was brought in to make the area sustainable for plant growth. These mounds of soil are arranged in an amphitheater-style.
“We wanted to be purposeful in placing the soil, so that there still was a good green space in there so students could be active, throw a Frisbee,” Collins said. “We’re sensitive that we only have so many green spaces on campus.”
Collins said he believes the safety component and the aesthetics make the project worthwhile, and he is grateful for the tolerance of everyone on campus.
“We appreciate everybody’s patience during this process,” he said. “If everyone can just be slow and honor safety barricades and caution tape; it’s a necessity. I know people get tired of the orange barrels during summer, but it’s a necessary evil sometimes.”
Due to weather complications, construction was postponed for a few days, but the projects are scheduled to be finished in early June.