Construction on Scholars Walk set to continue

Jamie VanGeest

This month marked the beginning of the second phase of construction on the University’s Scholars Walk.

The main construction of the first phase, stretching from Walnut Street Southeast to Union Street Southeast, was completed in 2004. The second phase will be built during the summer and will continue across the mall to Appleby Hall.

The University Alumni Association hopes the Scholars Walk will be a place of celebration and contemplation for successive generations of students, faculty members and alumni.

When the Scholars Walk is complete, it will stretch from McNamara Alumni Center to Pleasant Street Southeast. Its 2,200-foot walk will include groves, monuments, plinths, plaques and benches.

James Litsheim, the head architect and owners’ representative for the Scholars Walk, said the project is being entirely funded by a gift from Gateway. He said he estimates the total cost of the project is $4 million to $5 million.

Tom Schwab, site supervisor for the construction of the second phase, said construction crews will tear out the old gray sidewalk and replace it with a 14-foot-wide sidewalk with granite pavers along the edge.

The new sidewalk will also have more trees, shrubs and flowers.

“Supposedly it’s going to dress up the whole area,” Schwab said.

Some students said they have altered their usual paths to class because certain parts of the sidewalks on campus are closed.

“They can’t do construction in the winter, so now is probably the best time to do construction,” said Eric Johnson, an education student.

He said he thinks the construction hasn’t really affected him, and he is trying to get around it in whatever way he can.

Litsheim said the Scholars Walk will be “substantially complete” by Sept. 28.