Atwater’s New Look
A number of buildings on campus got a facelift this summer; 75-year-old Forest Hall underwent massive interior renovations and the Davis Family Library welcomed the in the music library formerly housed in the CFA. That’s not all that Facilities Services was up while we were away, though. They also took on a serious outdoor project.
Starting in mid-August after the conclusion of the Middlebury Language Schools, Facilities began implementing a landscape plan for the Atwater Commons area, between Coffrin, Atwater A & B, Allen, and the Chateau. The plan includes elements from the three student design proposals submitted as part of the Atwater Turf Battle contest last spring.
Tim Parsons, Middlebury’s landscape horticulturist, has been tracking the project’s progress on his great blog Middlebury Landscape (he even has an online map of the “99 trees to see” on campus). Though he acknowledged the landscape “looked like hell” at the start of the school year, new grass has since sprouted and the young saplings on the raised “berm” behind the Chateau have produced some brilliant yellow leaves.
Most students agree that the fresh grass, expanded patios, and new flowerbeds are a welcome upgrade for the heavily-trafficked area, which in the past was characterized by a seasonal rotation of packed dirt, snow, and mud. Tim’s hope is that students will utilize the newly-renovated area for studying, lounging, and playing Frisbee. Especially since Atwater Dining hall is now open for lunch, it will more than likely be a popular place to hang out outside. Before the fun can begin, though, the grass must finish growing. Parsons hopes that the area will be fully open to student use in the spring.
What are your thoughts on the new landscape? Share them below.