Students walking around campus may have noticed the new landscaping improvements the maintenance department made this summer.
One major landscaping addition is the patio and sitting area north of Zwemer Hall that features pavers inset with the cross from Northwestern’s word mark. Electrical outlets were installed in the patio area for the convenience of students so they can relax outside by plugging in their laptops, radios, et cetera.
Ward Van Peursem, grounds supervisor, is a member of a group from the maintenance department who decides what additions should be made to campus.
“I give suggestions for what I’d like to see them do,” Van Peursem said, “and as a group we decide.” One of his main goals is to serve the students by adding areas for students to sit.
The maintenance department placed three large rocks between Colenbrander and Hospers Halls in case students want a spot to sit down while they are waiting for other students.
Another landscaping project finished this summer was the conversion of the parking area east of Hospers into a green space. Van Peursem described the concrete pavement that used to be there as “very dangerous” and said it had to be either removed or replaced due to liability reasons. Since replacing concrete can be very expensive, the maintenance department chose the removal option.
“We didn’t actually lose any student overnight parking,” Van Peursem reassured. The maintenance department added overnight parking spots to replace the ones that were removed.
One landscaping project that the maintenance crew has completed since the start of the school year is the small outdoor stage located behind Hospers. Van Peursem said they built the stage in the interest of students in case they want to hold an event outside.
Funding for the landscaping improvements came from a gift from Leonard and Marjorie Maas of Holland, Mich. The Maas’ donation, which was given specifically for landscaping, also paid for a new campus directory sign that was placed south of Zwemer Hall between the visitor parking lot and Highway 10.