Yudof envisions

Heather Fors

Although the University is on its way to becoming a more beautiful school, President Mark Yudof’s visions for the campus are still far from complete.
Yudof said Wednesday he wants a campus that’s more attractive — packed with more flowers and benches — to bring people here even when classes are not in session.
One place specifically targeted for aesthetic renovation is the South Mall, the portion of land south of Washington Avenue stretching to the river that includes Coffman Union, Comstock Hall and the East River Road parking ramp. The ramp is slated for demolition next month.
Yudof said he envisions thousands of parking spots, and possibly an amphitheater and a movie theater on the South Mall, in addition to more flowers and benches throughout the school grounds.
“It’s all designed to humanize the campus,” Yudof said. “If you want to be treated as a person and not as a number … the University of Minnesota’s the place to go.”
Although plans for South Mall renovations are still on the drawing board, they should be solid by early spring, said McKinley Boston, vice president for student development and athletics.
The South Mall plans are part of an overall beautification plan that put 1,200 more flowers under the noses of the University community this fall.
But while campus officials and grounds crews have the vision, funding to make it reality is still on the horizon, Yudof said.
“The above and beyond will certainly take more (money),” said Tim Busse, the communications coordinator for Facilities Management.
He said much of the money used to execute the improvements made this year came straight from Facilities Management. Had the University not been granted as much money from the Legislature in the 1997-98 session, that money probably would have been allocated elsewhere.
Yudof said he is confident that the Legislature will again shine on the University.