SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- Work is underway to develop a major new pedestrian mall along the former site of Woodlawn Avenue.
Before it was closed to vehicular traffic last year, Woodlawn Avenue passed within yards of dormitories and the campus' most visited building, the Benham-Pence Student Center. The Student Center is where students go for meals, mail, meetings, shopping and just to hang out.
The latest update to the campus master plan suggested eliminating the road for safety and to create a new campus focal point for student recreation and other activities.
The project will greatly increase green space in the area, as well as provide a new outdoor theatre stage for speakers and entertainment, said Darrell Kitchen, vice president for business and finance. The roadbed will be significantly narrowed for pedestrian traffic, but will still be accessible to police and emergency vehicles.
The new pedestrian mall will also provide a new "Walk of Honor" to recognize winners of major alumni awards since the 1930s. Their names will be engraved on bricks, which will form the surface of the mall. Names of faculty teaching greats and Athletic Hall of Honor members will also be inscribed on the bricks.
Younger alumni will also be represented as the Class of 2003 elected to use its class gift to create a mosaic in the shape of Wittenberg's trademark "W" right in the center of the new space.
The Class of 2002 also bequeathed its gift to erect two flagpoles at the southern entrance to the mall. That class chose to give flagpoles to the university as a gesture of grief and hope following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Other funding for the $350,000 project came from Alpha Delta Pi sorority, which made its gift in honor of its 150th anniversary (2001), and other sources.
Frequent rain this summer has delayed completion of the project, but the work is still expected to be finished by the first day of fall classes Aug. 25, Kitchen said.
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