Northwest Facilities Services is constantly working to improve and beautify the campus through a number of projects.
Assistant Vice President of Facility Services Allen Mays said one of the areas Facility Services is working on is improvements to residence halls. He said they received approval March 14 to begin an auxiliary project on Roberta Hall that will be completed throughout the summer.
“We did just complete a Res Life master plan," Mays said. “That is basically a planning document that is giving us some tools over the next couple of years to help us with development and renovations.”
Mays said he and his team are working on a project at the Grube Tennis Courts as well.
“We’re working on a small shelter there that would cover some of the seating,” Mays said. “Then also some branding over there about the tennis program; it is a great program, and there is a lot to share.”
Another part of the ongoing work on campus is planning projects ahead into next year Mays said. He said one big thing they are planning is the demolition of the Thompson-Ringgold building, located on the north side of Wells Hall.
“We’ve got some different occupants in the building, so we are working through the planning phase right now to try and relocate some of those services to different places on campus,” Mays said. “We don’t anticipate that one to become a reality until the end of the calendar or possibly next year.”
Mays said the biggest project is a multifaceted signage project including off-campus wayfinding signs for on-campus locations.
“We have one of our new campus master plans sings that indicate the Hughes Fieldhouse,” Mays said. “Over a number of years, we’re going to be replacing all the exterior signage, so we are planning the next phase right now. The first area that we are going to be working on is Fourth Street, so the signs as you are coming up from east to west.”
Mays said they are also working on signs for on-campus food venues that will be the first of their kind for Auxiliary Services.
“We are anticipating putting some exterior signage at the Station that you will be able to view from the center core sidewalk on the east side of the Station,” Mays. “We are also looking at some signage for the north side of the building as well.”
Along with new signage, Mays said the University is also looking to add a new dining component to Mooyah with curbside service.
“So, basically you can order and they will bring it to you,” Mays said. “Which will be kind of nice and different, we don’t have anything like that on campus.”
Mays said Facility Services is establishing their annual capital project for the 2019-20 school year.
We will know more about those campus projects here soon, and those would range from campus master plan projects to auxiliary projects and things like that.”
Mays said these ongoing improvements are important to make sure students, faculty and staff have a good experience on campus.
“I think the learning and living environments are very important to keep upgraded and attractive and also relative to what our academic experience needs to be,” Mays said. “I think continuing to evaluate those areas and improve those areas based on the pedagogy that is required in that space.”
Mays said it is necessary for the campus to continue to change to reflect the changing educational environment on campus.
“You know the traditional aspect of learning used to be where there was the lecture hall and the professor up front, and they’re talking, and you are learning just from that fixed model,” Mays said. “I think the pedagogy today is more active learning and involvement and creativity in the classroom. So, I think that ability to be flexible and to be able to move around creates the active learning environment.”