View the architect's plan for the University at Albany's Entry Plaza >>
||This architect's rendering shows how the University at Albany's Entry Plaza will be transformed. Work is set to begin in June and be completed in the fall. The project was designed by Thomas Balsley Associates, which supplied this rendering.|
ALBANY, N.Y. (April 27, 2007) -- The University at Albany announced today a $4 million plan for its Entry Plaza, the main gateway of the University for visitors and the campus community. Plans for the three-acre space call for a park-like setting with more green space, ornamental trees and gardens, fountains and bench seating.
Work is expected to begin in June 2007 with completion slated for this fall. The project is part of a larger $25 million provision in the 2006-2007 New York State budget -- secured through the help of New York State Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari.
"The University takes great pride in its campus and this new entry way will provide a positive first impression to visitors and prospective students as well create a source of pride for alumni, students, faculty and staff," said Provost and Officer in Charge Susan Herbst.
"We have re-imagined this important campus entrance space as one teeming with academic and social life. Supported by new green quads, it will help redefine the University's image and host a variety of student and faculty functions within a new modernist setting respectful of its architectural heritage," said landscape architect Thomas Balsley of Thomas Balsley Associates in New York City.
"The University at Albany is one of the gems of public higher education, not just here in New York but throughout the entire country," said Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari. "This funding will address many critical needs of the campus including safety and infrastructural repairs and, at the same time, makes the University a more synergistic partner in our community."
The existing plaza, which sits at the gateway of the University, will be redesigned with green space and pedestrian-grade pavers providing a smoother surface, as well as enhancing its visual appeal. The amount of green space will be increased some 85 percent -- from roughly 19,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet. With a greater focus on green space and level surfaces, the plaza can be used for major campus outdoor events, including spring commencement.
Also, the main stairs leading to the Podium, located between the Fine Arts and Arts & Sciences buildings, will be replaced and upgraded.
The space will be highlighted by a fountain, which will be designed similar to those found in major public parks around the country, as well as bench seating to encourage interaction and use by the campus community.
The $25 million provision will enable the University at Albany to address this and other crucial revitalization needs in the future, such as improving and upgrading campus-wide lighting; addressing downtown building envelope repairs; improving traffic, grounds and pedestrian safety; upgrading signage; and refurbishing the Podium canopy, entries and window wells.