Letter to the Editor

Quad changes still a work in progressTo the Editor:The “Repave the Quad” section in last week’s “10 Ways to Improve Villanova” story needs some clarification. Clearly, the surface of the concrete is unacceptable. Facilities Management identified repaving the Quad as a priority since the summer. Plans are in progress to remedy the situation during spring break or next summer.Porous concrete is a relatively new technology that has not been used before in this area. Universities are known for research and for their contributions to society. However, things don’t always work perfectly the first try. There were many lessons learned from the initial construction. These lessons will be beneficial to the profession in the future.I would like to correct you on a few facts about the Quad. First, the Quad is not designed to store water. Furthermore, the ground does not freeze below the first foot as you implied. There is no chance of “incalculable damage” due to freezing. The intent of the Quad renovation is not to “conserve” water. The Quad’s design is to collect and clean the water before returning it to the ground. The project will prevent flooding, decrease pollution, protect local stream channels and maintain flow in streams during periods of drought. In essence, the Quad renovation project will help minimize the environmental impacts of developments on the Villanova campus.The new Quad is the focus of graduate student theses and provides them with financial support. In the future, there will be an informative sign in the Quad explaining the design and purpose of the renovations. Simple misunderstandings like this are what often prevent the use of environmentally innovative technologies like porous concrete.Clay EmersonDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering