Butler Way construction to be completed by Summer 2019

Photo courtesy of Butler University. 

BRITTANY BLUTHARDT | STAFF REPORTER | bbluthar@butler.edu

Construction plans will redesign another Butler University entrance in the summer of 2019, after the completion of the new Lacy School of Business, that could improve Butler Way’s functionality, aesthetic appeal and sustainability, Rich Michal, executive director of facilities, said.

Michal plans to change the exterior design of Butler Way, the street by Fairview House and Clowes Memorial Hall, to improve the area’s design and appeal.

“If this is the main way we want people to come in when they are visiting the university, what do they see?” Michal said.

A visitor drives up to Butler University’s campus on 46th St. to see tall flag poles. This is a main entranceway to the university. The roundabout is undeveloped without curbs and defined sidewalks. The design plan will include a pedestrian pathway with crossing paths.

“As a college student, you will take the path of least resistance, and where I don’t create a sidewalk, you’ll create a path,” Michal said.

First-year exploratory major Melissa Evans uses the area often to cross campus.

“I think it is a good thing that they’re changing it,” Evans said. “Currently it is not interesting and a pain to try and cross on foot.”

Evans said that Butler has walkways around most of campus besides the area between Fairview House and Clowes.

The crosswalk area will include rain guards that account for excess rainwater. They prevent the area from flooding. Similar guards are present where Sunset Avenue and 49th St. meet by the bus pull-out paths.

“That helps us with our storm water requirements,” Michal said. “It is both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.”

The plans include an “earthen mound”, or small hill, where an entry feature would be added, such as a bulldog head or a “BU” sign. Michal plans to remove the current pear trees and add more to border the crossing sidewalks and entry feature.

Another area of interest for enhancements is in front of Clowes Memorial Hall. The area is empty and poses opportunity, Michal said. The improved roundabout would smooth the flow of traffic exiting after shows and bus services, like IndyGo.

“They definitely need to add something because it is currently bland,” Evans said. “Maybe they put a sign like the ‘BU’ on the Holcomb hill, some designs about the arts, or more benches. There are never enough benches.”

The entranceway could be completed in two to three months once the construction starts. It is a short project compared to the building of the new business school.

“We’ve always intended on doing this, but there has never been a good time to do it or it hasn’t been a priority,” Michal said.

The project was recently introduced. Evans said students should have more of a say on projects and designs.

“I feel like we’re almost a form of investor [for the school],” Evans said. “We spend a lot of money to go here and spend more time here then most faculty. I think we should have an opinion, and as far as I know, we basically have none.”

The plans will begin after the completion of the Lacy School of Business to avoid destroying any parts of the design or landscape during construction. Large construction trucks will drive through the roundabout area during the building period. Construction for the Lacy School of Business plans to begin June 2017 and end in Spring 2019.

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