Faner to get pedestrian mall

New sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and seating areas are being put in by Faner Hall.

The $1.25 million project will improve student safety and beautify the area, according to a university press release.

Chancellor Rita Cheng said the money to fund the project came from Plant and Service Operations, so all work will be done internally.

She said the money for the project came from the same budget that was used to improve the courtyard of the agriculture building in 2011.

Construction should be completed by mid-August.

The project location begins at Faner Drive south, continues to the Student Center and connects with landscaping from the pedestrian overpass to the area between the site of the Student Services Building and Parkinson Hall, according to the press release.

Cheng said the first concern was the lack of lighting in the area, because there was a sexual assault by Faner Hall May 8, 2011. She said upon inspection, though, there were also cracks in the concrete and unauthorized vehicles that drove in the area.

Because of safety concerns, the university recently put in upright steel bollards by Faner to restrict vehicle traffic, Phil Gatton, Plant and Services Operations director, said in the press release.

“We’ve had a number of instances where people drive too fast on these ares they consider to be a thoroughfare and you have pedestrians walking,” he said. “We want to eliminate that and make it safer for students to walk.”

Gatton said there will still be some deliveries in the area but on a limited basis.

The project also will remove a ramp in disrepair that connects to Faner Hall, and there will be outdoor lighting improvements such as path lights along the walkways.

There will also be an emergency phone added to the area, Gatton said.

“If we’re digging things up, we want to make sure at the end of the day we end up with something that will look better, and these improvements will last 20, 30 years,” Cheng said.

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About Tara Kulash

You can reach Tara at tkulash@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext. 255.

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