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Quad project begins today

The groundbreaking ceremony for the quad project will be today at 10:30 a.m. and construction will begin immediately. The project is expected to take 150 days to complete.

The renovation will include the planting of more than 80 new trees and a fountain with a 9-foot Trojan as a focal point.

But, the in the process, the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity will be lose it's gathering place.

"This is our tree," said Rodrick Elliot, senior at the university. "This is a spot where we meet and it will be gone."

The roots of tree are sprayed blue and white, the fraternity's colors.

"We put these rocks here not too long ago," Elliot said, pointing to the blue and white rocks. "They are decorations to mark our spot. They'll be gone and so will our spot."

From the plains of Texas to the hills of Kentucky, youths extol the beauty of the trees on the Bibb Graves quad at Troy State University.

About 250 youths from several states are attending the Axis Christian Camp on the university campus and many of them expressed disbelief that the quad will soon be void of the canopy they find so inviting.

"We're from Texas and we don't have trees like this," said Sarah Pearson. "What I like most about the campus is the trees and the shade. It's a pretty place - with the trees."

A group of "roses" from Texas said they found the trees on campus to have a magical touch.

"We just walked through the magnolia trees and they were so pretty that we had to stop and touch them," said Kara Wilson. "I would never want to cut any of the trees down. They make the campus so pretty."

Sarah offered a suggestion for the proposed fountain.

"I would tear down the dorm and put a big fountain right in the middle of where it is," she said.

Even a couple of young ladies from Kentucky found the quad a "cool" place to be.

"It's so lovely and green," said Samantha Smith. "It's not cool to cut these trees down. Stick a few benches out here and you have a great place to meet friends or study."

Laura Madden wondered out loud, "Is there no other place to put a fountain?"

"Not the trees," said Will Scarbrough of Pine Mountain, Ga. "It must have taken a long time for them to grow. That's what has been so cool about being here. This morning we had our Bible study out here under the trees. It was really nice."

Brad Estes, also of Georgia, agreed that the trees lend a special beauty to the campus.

"We've been sitting out here for a while, just enjoying being here," he said. "Troy State has a pretty campus. And, this is the best part of it."

Many of the high school students who are on campus to attend the Christian camp found the Bibb Graves quad an ideal gathering place and "great just the way it is."

"If they cut down the trees, it won't ever look like this again," Scarbrough said, as he gestured toward the trees. "What's prettier than this""