Eastern has always made sure its campus has stayed pretty, be it through planting and preserving native plants, or by maintaining the three gorgeous ponds and several streams on campus. The pristine campus has been a huge asset to the school and school officials are not going to take it for granted.
Eastern will be going through a “beautification” process this semester. Eastern’s Senior Vice President & Search Committee Chair, Dr. Thomas Ridington, is a lead character in this beautification process. “We have a beautiful campus but any part of the earth, if we don’t maintain it, loses its beauty,” Ridington said. “I think our campus is sacred and we should want it to be a reflection of God’s beauty.”
There are currently three projects Eastern is working on. The first is placing the signs that are going to be located all over the campus, making Eastern a more friendlier place for visitors. The second is installing better lighting system on campus, and finally the third is making a better use of space on campus.
Some signs have already gone up but have been discontinued because of the bad weather. It is expected to continue once the weather becomes more stable.
There will be signs for all the buildings, signs for vehicles and pedestrians too. The new signage system will not only be visually pleasant and helpful, but they are also long lasting. These new signs will not decay, and they are supposed to last for 25 years.
Then there is the new lighting system that will light up Eastern. An Eastern alum who owns an external lighting company will be donating new outside lighting. “These will be highly energy efficient and computerized,” Ridington said. The Development office is working on this.
The final project that Ridington is looking forward to is the improvement of the physical space on campus. The area between the Janet Long Cottage and McInnis Hall is going to get a make-over soon. In fact, work on that patch of land already started in November 2010 when they removed the hollies to make the plot more spacious for students.
The school is working with famous landscape designer Michael Petrie, who will also be doing the feature landscape for this year’s Philadelphia International Flower Show. In addition to visually pleasing plants, the space will also get patio furniture for students to use. Work on that is expected to be finished by April.
“We are trying to open it up for a more spacious feel,” Ridington said. “We are also trying to look beautiful with less cost.”
The funding for these beautification projects for the campus are mostly donation-based. “Except for the signage system, that has come out of the institutions budget, the rest of the project is donation-based,” Ridington said.
By the end of this semester, Eastern will hopefully have successfully undergone the beautification process, and Ridington expects Eastern to maintain the importance of an aesthetically beautiful campus.