Vision 2012 brings changes to Baylor campus
By David McLain
Returning students may notice a little more Baylor green around campus as they arrive for classes this August, with the final aesthetic touches of Baylor 2012 coming to reality.
The eighth of 12 imperatives implemented by Baylor at the start of 2002 can be seen coming to life as students leave the Bill Daniel Student Center, and the walk toward Moody Library, where a wide green lawn unfolds before eyes that are used to seeing two roads along side the mall that were closed to public access.
The extension of Fountain Mall meets the expressed desires of students for more space to play ultimate Frisbee and lay blankets and hang out, Dr. Kevin Jackson, vice president of student life, said.
Although the majority of students will be surprised at seeing the changes to Fountain Mall and other parts of campus, the removal of the interior roads had been talked about for years, Brian Nicholson, associate vice president for facility planning and Construction, said.
“The roads were getting to the point where they needed to get repairs,” Nicholson said.
The loss of these two roads does not remove all vehicle access to Fountain Mall. Baylor has installed a porous paved road, essentially pavement covered in grass, along the Fourth Street side of Marrs McLean Gym. This road allows continued access to the mall for vehicles carrying equipment for activities. The parallel parking alongside Third Street in front of Moody Library has been removed, but a new shuttle route will run there, Nicholson said.
The street and parking lot directly behind Marrs McLean Gym is being removed and replaced with the National Pan-Hellenic Council Garden “which will honor the history and heritage of African-American fraternities and sororities,” Baylor’s website said.
There will be monuments dedicated to the seven chapters of the Divine Nine, nine international African-American fraternities and sororities, represented at Baylor.
The long established Fort Faculty across Bagby Avenue from the Paul L. Foster Success Center underwent the first phase of removal this summer.
“Three houses on the perimeter and all of the interior houses have been torn down,” Nicholson wrote in an email to the Lariat. “The remaining homes will be torn down next summer, in preparation for future developments in this area of campus. This is in accordance with our approved Master Plan for campus expansion.”
The SUB has been renovated with two new eating options, along with the repositioning of remaining restaurants. A new Einstein Bros. Bagels store is located in the Den Lounge and, although known for bagels, offers a varied breakfast menu. A Mooyah hamburger restaurant now sits inside the Bear Market Food Court.
These options were chosen partially in response to food preference surveys conducted yearly by ARAMARK,Baylor’s food service provider, Jackson said.
Quiznos will move to the space in the lobby formerly occupied by The Daily Grind Coffee Shop, Baylor University’s website said. Chick-Fil-A and Ninfa’s will move to more spacious areas within the food court.
A Which Wich Superior Sandwiches and Moe’s Southwest Grill are two restaurants being placed in the courtyard near the Baylor Sciences Building.
“Anytime we can add more retail options to give more of a choice, I think it makes sense,” Nicholson said.