UW has started up a new construction site between Dana Porter Library and the Grad House. This project is a landscaping redevelopment of the South Commons, which involves some hill reduction to remove the sight obstruction of the Chemistry, Biology 1, and Physics buildings, aiming to create a new outdoor student space. This student space will include a large deck with a seating area, featuring tables with charging ports for laptops and cellphones.</p>
According to Nick Manning, the director of media relations and issues management, this project is a part of the Campus Master Plan that was created in 2007 and remastered in 2009. This plan created a vision based off of what the campus looked like then and how the University administration wanted it to be used later on. Manning said that the hills on campus “made it feel very closed off to the outside.”
“We want students to enjoy being on campus. This project will create this accessible, pedestrian-centric, open area, and makes it a more pleasant environment,” Manning said, later explained that students had expressed a desire for more usable, open spaces.
This project cost the university $1.5 million, but Manning stated that this money is not coming from students; it will be coming from university funds. He that the project in the fall, and that it was started now because of the reduced number of students on campus for the spring term.
Other similar projects are in the Campus Master Plan, and they all involve making a sort of “grand entrance into campus,” according to Manning. “The university is investing in improvements to make campus a student-centric place,” he explained. “We hope that students will enjoy the space for a long time to come.”