Freshmen arriving and upperclassmen returning to campus will find a new “serendipitous” space for gathering, relaxing, and even holding class outdoors.

A shaded seating area has replaced the chest-high hedges that once stood between Center and Baxter Halls, all part of the new Center Hall landscaping designed by Grounds Manager Tim Riley in an effort led by Director of Campus Services David Morgan.

“The exterior landscapes are one of the most outstanding features of the College, yet there are currently only a handful of exterior seating areas scattered around campus,” Morgan said. “As I approached the design of the new Center Hall landscape I wanted to include a space for people to come together informally.”

Campus Services workers Taylor Hedrick and Theron McIntire finish raking the new gathering area outside Center Hall.

“The new small seating area on the south side of Center Hall was relatively low-cost, and included a new type of bench made of recycled materials.”

Morgan said the plants used throughout the new landscaping are more drought-tolerant and require less maintenance than the previous landscaping, yet have “a good visual impact.”

“We are looking for future locations for similar exterior seating areas around campus.”