Although functional, some would say Denison’s Academic Quad or more commonly referred to as, A Quad lacks the beauty and decoration of academic centers that other universities and colleges have. Some students see this area of campus as “outdated” and too similar to the ones at other liberal arts schools. Maggie Miller ’20 adds, “Denison claims to be unique so shouldn’t our quad be unique?” Earlier this week the planners and architects from EDGE Design plan to not change the quad completely, but give it some, as students would say needed modifications to help improve the aesthetics here on the Hill. Grace Horn ’20 claims she would like to “see more seating options for students to be able to eat, study and of course socialize while on academic quad” and to make it something more than just a place for classes. Micah Frenkiel ’20 would “be thrilled to see more trees and flowers for beautification” and to have more flow from corner to corner on the quad to make her walks to and from class a little more enjoyable.On October 13, members of the Edge company congregated outside of Slayter to show students and faculty a computer generated image of what the quad will look like after construction. Edge is a local architectural design company located in Columbus, the company has done work at other colleges and universities such as Ohio State. The images presented looked like the entire quad would be transformed. Jennifer Carr ’20 said “Their idea for large grassy terraced steps leading down to the Arts Quad would be such a nice addition and would definitely be used by me and other students not only to walk but to sit and socialize” when she was walking by Slayter and saw the designs. An aspect of the design plans that stands out are the pathways all over Academic Quad. This area of campus is usually crowded at several points during the day when multiple classes are ending or beginning and people are trying to cross the quad to get to another class, the residence halls, or even to sports practice. Showing the viewer an entirely new Academic Quad with new installments at Slayter, additional walkways, and small decorations to enhance its beauty.
Tim Skinner, the principle of EDGE, shared some of the additions students said they wanted to put on Academic Quad plans. EDGE wanted to give Denisonians a voice in what their community will look like. Throughout the day everyone had an opportunity to stop by and write down a suggestion or two. One of the main goals of this project is to remove the divide between East, West and Academic quads. Academic Quad will transform into a “river of students” coming from all areas of campus from the Mitchell Center to the fine Arts Quad. Often students refer to the quad as a “highway through campus” because professors, students, and even prospective students are roaming this part of campus periodically throughout the day.
Skinner shared the suggestions and thoughts from students, noting some insightful and good potential ideas for the renovation. A somewhat universal request is to have what was referred to as a “landmark” on Academic Quad. For example, a fountain or a statue that could act as a meeting spot instead of the flag pole outside of Slayter. Students said that they would like Slayter to be “modern” but that it “should still fit into a campus context” on the board set up by Edge.
Photo Courtesy of Tim Skinner, EDGE Planning