By Richard Lam
Alongside the Digital Library, students will have a new central green space to look forward to next fall semester. The Taylor Quadrangle is currently looking at a September-to-October completion date.
“The focus has been on the library itself, but the design of the Quad is now near completion. The construction activities are going to start up fairly soon,” said Stephen Dantzer, associate vice-president facilities development.
The Quad — which will account for approximately six (25 per cent) of the Taylor Family’s 25 million dollar donation — will be a roughly rectangular green space surrounded by the libraries, the MacEwan Student Centre and Kinesiology. Current plans show various tree lined walkways as well as a water component in the corner.
The plan for the Quad directly bisects the delivery access roadway leading to the MacEwan Student Centre. As such, a new driveway will be constructed, running under the Craigie Hall plus-fifteen and between the two libraries.
The Quad is intended to be the new heart of the campus — a place for gathering, community and learning. One of the design plans shows the possibility of fitting a thousand chairs on the lawn.
“It could be an outdoor convocation,” said Dantzer.
The area will preserve as many trees in the area as possible and those removed will be replaced elsewhere on campus. Dantzer is also working with the Students Union regarding the possibility of holding Bermuda Shorts Day there.
However, Dantzer wants to make clear the disturbance the construction will have on regular campus walking paths over the summer.
“Construction over the summer will be very disruptive in the Quad area. It will be very limited, almost no pedestrian access to the Quad [area] after May 1. You will have to go around the areas now,” said Dantzer.
Most of the concrete paths in the surrounding area will also be aesthetically renovated. Rather than asphalt or concrete, a mix of paving stone resembling an uneven grid will allow for a more varied texture.
“It’s intended to make this whole area appear to be an urban plaza area, a [type of] pedestrian walkway,” said Dantzer.
Further renovations to the area and campus — including LED exterior lighting and additional paving patterns — will begin once the Quadrangle is completed.