VISIONS: Enhancing the campus aesthetic

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As if the Iowa State campus wasn’t already gorgeous enough,* the university just completed a three-year, $3 million central campus beautification effort.

Projects included landscaping and tree trimming, improved building entries and first-floor hallways, and meeting/gathering spaces. Two project highlights are the renovation of the Hub patio and construction of a decorative wall north of the Memorial Union, both completed in 2015.

The $272,000 Hub patio renovation removed a retaining wall and extended the outdoor patio area, with seating, shade canopy, tables with umbrellas, and brick entrance columns.

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A curved 43-foot-wide wall engraved with the “Iowa State University” nameplate has quickly become one of the most popular spots on campus to take a photograph. The wall, located between the MU and the Campanile, is landscaped with a front bed of annual flowers and behind with flowering shrubs and perennial flowers.

“We didn’t have any place on central campus that identified Iowa State University,” said associate vice president for facilities Dave Miller (L)(’75 elect engr), who proposed the idea for the wall. “I think this could become [a place] where students and alumni will want their picture taken.”

Another campus beautification project improved the plaza area surrounding the Fountain of the Four Seasons, just outside the Memorial Union. The new area includes stone benches, pavers, additional sidewalks, and landscaping.

Last spring, 8,700 flower bulbs – all but 200 of them daffodils – bloomed on campus. The bulbs were planted in a handful of locations the previous fall by campus services teams. The perennials are another piece of the presidential beautification initiative.

In a separate project, the university is creating a landscaped green space and plaza between Jack Trice Stadium and Reiman Gardens. The $11.5 million project began last summer. The plaza will include a water feature, with formal and informal gathering spaces. Work on the plaza landscaping will continue this spring, with completion scheduled for fall 2017.

* In an informal survey of the digital Buzzfeed Community, voters ranked Iowa State’s campus as one of the most beautiful in the entire world.

 


This article was originally published in VISIONS magazine. To receive the full issue delivered to your mailbox four times per year, become a member of the ISU Alumni Association.

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