Slight changes finalize campus center plans

Aline Drr

As the planning and development of the new campus center finalize, minor changes are being made to allow for the greatest utility of the building.
One planned change is in the campus center’s surroundings. There will no longer be either traffic or parking spaces on East John Street. Also, the turnaround at the end of the street will be made into a plaza where concerts can be held in the warmer months.
Also in the plans is a “land bridge,” which is a unique feature that will widen the pedestrian corridor from student residences to the academic buildings. It will be located where the current Lawe Street footbridge is. The bridge will be quite large – 70 feet wide – and will contain trees, benches, kiosks and a possible space to display student art.
The center planners see the land bridge less as a bridge and more as a continuation of the campus from one side of Lawe to the other.
“It will make the campus look more integrated and like one piece,” said Dean Nancy Truesdell.
The center will also have a new, centralized mail system. This may strike students as inconvenient at first, but it has been designed with efficiency in mind.
Each student will receive an individual mailbox to keep for the entire time he or she is attending Lawrence. Mail will not have to follow students around campus when they move from one residence hall to another.
Since most students will be at the campus center for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it will be convenient to pick up mail after meals.
Crucial to the construction is the upcoming presentation of the plans to the LU Trustees during reading period in May.
Nathan Litt, one of the two student representatives on the Campus Center Planning Committee, says the presentation will be an important step toward its completion, especially since the idea of a new campus center has been around nearly 20 years.
The existing plans for the campus center include a centralized dining room with a view of the Fox River and a redesigned food service format. There are also plans for a store where students can buy food and personal items, a cinema, and one floor devoted entirely to student activities.

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