Senior class tribute plots new patio space outside of Swartz

Bob Feeney, Contributing Writer

In an email last week, University senior class president Stuart “Kip” Hallagan, announced the plans for the Class of 2021 Senior Tribute. This tribute, an outdoor paved seating and small gathering space outside of Swartz Hall, will allow students to congregate in a communal space in a central area of campus. The patio will face Coleman Hall Drive and be in close proximity to the Malesardi Quadrangle, another central gathering space on campus. In the email sent announcing the plans, Hallagan said, “We envision this space will mirror the success of the seating area found in the RTK quad.”

Attached to the email were depictions from the viewpoint of Coleman Hall Drive and an aerial view of the future patio space which will be filled with tables and the classic University blue and orange Adirondack chairs.

In his announcement to the class, Hallagan continued that, “[w]hile many tributes look towards the needs of seniors, the addition of a communal space outside Swartz will allow for First Year students to connect with each other in close proximity to their residence within a beautiful outdoor space.” 

The patio’s placement outside of Swartz Hall, a residential building that houses first-years along with a small number of upperclassmen, makes one more site of possible future socializing, and one where the building of community can take place. This year’s class tribute mirrors the intent and purpose of last year’s class project, a fire pit located near the University farm; both projects sought to provide current and future students with a communal outdoor space located on campus. 

After a year in which circumstance has forced many gatherings outdoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the added space from both this year’s and last year’s class tributes offer more flexibility to the University community when working to continue safe social activities. “In a time when outdoor gathering spaces are at a premium, this senior class gift will be very popular with students both now and for many years to come,” Associate Director of Building Maintenance and Projects Brian Fritz said. “The concept brought to Facilities by the senior class was well conceived and presented in a very professional and thoughtful manner.  The senior class representatives were a pleasure to work with and provided excellent feedback throughout the process.”

Thanks to the senior class, this new space will add to the University’s residential and campus life, paving the way for future experiences.

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