Campus lawns get a facelift

Oct 262010
Authors: Courtney Riley

The roughly $250,000 in renovations to the West Lawn should be complete by the end of the year, officials say.

The project, which is funded by a compilation of dollars from different areas including Campus
Recreation, turns what was a ditch on the West Lawn into a park-like setting.

The project is almost complete, except for finishing a re-circulating water feature, which will be located on the east side of the bike path.

Fred Haberecht, assistant director of landscape and planning from Facilities Management, said the
West Lawn project is expected to be entirely finished this year, weather permitting.

Haberecht will also work with construction to install a re-circulating water feature, which will take water from the lagoon and flow it through a stream-like areas, that will be ready to reveal in the spring.

The additions being made are intended to be a creative approach to provide functionality for the campus, he said.

Haberecht said the goal of the project is to prevent storm water detention for buildings on campus, increase the number of recreation sports fields and provide space for more engagement among students.

The land on the south side of the West Lawn was flattened to make two soccer fields, which created an elevated landform on the north side for an overlooking informal amphitheater.

The sitting area will provide a new hangout for students and an improved concert venue for community members, who attend events like the city of Fort Collins’s Lagoon Concert Series, during
the summer.

“There aren’t a lot of vantage points like that throughout campus,” Haberecht said.

There is also a permanent fire-pit designated for the annual Homecoming bonfire toward the southwest side of the West Lawn, which will allow for less set-up time because staff won’t have to
install a makeshift fire pit.

“This will create a more memorable space on campus,” Haberecht said.

The additions, such as the “contemplative overlook” –– the giant amphitheater on the northwest corner –– and the bonfire area will create memories, he added.

Amy Nienaber, a senior chemical and biological engineering major, said the improvements of the West
Lawn so far have definitely made a difference in the appearance and atmosphere of campus.

“Landscaping really does a lot,” Nienaber said. “It’s a lot less flat and boring, which makes it a more pleasant area to be in.”

Haberecht said he’s looking forward to seeing the final product of the project and said it will be rewarding to see students gathering on the overlook, putting their hands in the water feature or playing on the soccer fields.

“It’s all for the campus experience,” he added.

Staff writer Courtney Riley can be reached at

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