National University’s Lombard campus is seeing some changes over the summer to its outdoor fixtures and green space.
Students will enjoy relaxing or studying along the tiers of renovated amphitheater seating on the shores of Lake Janse. The previous donor recognition bricks have been removed now that contributors are recognized in Janse Hall’s Donor Recognition Center. In their place is lush new sod that’s meant to be sat on and enjoyed. It provides a more comfortable surface and increases the green space and natural atmosphere along the lakeside.
Mr. Tom Rohner, director of facilities at NUHS, had previously constructed similar grassy amphitheater seating for a nearby municipality. The municipality found that the soft surface was more inviting for families attending events, resulting in greater utilization of their amphitheater. He hopes that students will feel free to spread their beach towels, or picnic on the grassed tiers.
More seating improvements include the complete renovation of all park benches and picnic tables on campus. Old wood will be replaced with a 100% recycled plastic product called Lumberock. Lumberock has the same engineering dynamics as wood but lasts much longer. It does not attract mold or mildew, requires no maintenance or painting, and can be recycled when it is removed. The Lumberock will be installed on the existing benches’ steel frames, and students should see the new seating surfaces completed by the end of August.
In the northeast area of campus behind the clinic, where brush was removed last year, the university plans to introduce native grasses, wildflowers and indigenous plants. Additionally, restoration of the dormitory courtyard will begin this Fall, and will be a three to five year project completed in several stages.
“We are receiving great feedback from students, faculty and staff on our continued improvements to our Lombard campus,” says Ron Mensching, vice president for business services. “We are choosing environmentally responsible products whenever possible, and are staying on schedule with our projects, so that we can keep our campus up to date and provide the best learning environment for our entire campus community.”