Ground broken on quad

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Alumni, administration and friends of Troy State University gathered under the shade Wednesday morning to witness as Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. and selected members of the Troy State University National Alumni Association broke ground in front of Bibb Graves Hall for the Quad Revitalization Project.

Earl Johnson, who is an alumni association board member and chair for the Quad Revitalization Committee, said the project marked a beginning and an end.

"Hopefully today's actions will be part of the beginning to a new age for our school," he said.

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Johnson said he hopes a new and enhanced school image will help increase support and graduate loyalty.

The quad renovation is a project of the alumni association and over the past four years, the members have raised $1.6 million. University money is not being used for the project.

"This has been the largest fundraiser in the history of the alumni association," Johnson said.

The alumni association's vision for the quad is similar to the original 1930 plans for a quadrangle that the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Mass., had designed.

Over the years, as the campus has expanded, some of the original Olmsted design has been lost. The alumni association hopes to "reestablish the connection with the Olmsted Brothers."

Allen Dennis, chair of the Department of History, said the new quad plans "put it how it was intended."

The project will take 150 days to complete and at the end of construction, the quad will look like a pedestrian mall with crossing sidewalks, a Trojan statue, created by Florala artist Larry Strickland, that will stand upwards of 20 feet, a fountain and 80 willow oak trees around the perimeter.

"Not only will it be the focal point of Troy State, but I predict it will also be the focal point of Southeast Alabama," Hawkins said.

He said the new quad will be more similar to the Olmsted Brothers' "vision of what Troy State could be."