Quad gets second facelift in two years

Eileen Rafferty

For the second straight fall, students arrived on campus to find a new Quad.

After a few years of pondering ideas, many months of committee work and design and several weeks of construction, the Quad was completed using environmentally sensitive technology. The renovation produced an aesthetically appealing courtyard that uses an infiltration system to absorb storm water.

The University replaced the gravel-like surface that dominated the Quad last year with a solid concrete surface.

“Now rainwater will run across the concrete center of the Quad into the porous strips along the sides where it will be absorbed, instead of doing damage downstream,” said Dr. Robert Traver, associate professor of water resources engineering.

The total cost, including landscaping and reconstruction, came to $500,000. About 20 percent of the figure was funded by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, two graduate students were funded through the program.

This infiltration system has been used before in western states and overseas but is new to this region. “There isn’t any experience literature. Even the contractor never did this before, but [we] wanted to start the learning curve,” said project manager Leo Kob.

A number of factors contributed to the aesthetic failures of the previous Quad rendition, including these hot weather and inconsistencies in surface materials. This time, however, many believe these obstacles were corrected.

“It’s definitely a big improvement from last year,” said sophomore Gregory Plavcan.

Graham Rumble agreed with Plavcan. “Facilities Management did a nice job redoing everything,” he said.

Close to 1,000 people have visited the site, as the infiltration system has attracted many organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers. Additionally, the 2003 Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Symposium will be held at the University during fall break. The data from the system is being used all over the country.

“It’s hydraulically fantastic, and it definitely exceeded our expectations,” Traver said.

“I believe the new surface is a durable concrete area that enhances the beauty of the campus tenfold,” sophomore Brian Lamsback.