A renovation to the staircase outside Derring Hall will improve the appearance and safety of one of the most heavily trafficked areas on campus and create additional common spaces. This project is part of a comprehensive effort to improve connectivity from the new North Academic Precinct to the existing academic core of the campus.
The steps carry thousands of pedestrians from the Derring Lot up to the Cowgill Hall Plaza and Johnson Student Center.
As part of the project, the plaza areas near Derring Hall and Johnson Student Center will be developed into public spaces. Wooden trimmed benches will be incorporated beside the steps, and additional seating will be provided at the terraces flanking the stair landings. Numerous landscape planters and trees will provide shade and aesthetic beauty.
“By adding comfortable seating, electrical outlets, and wifi access in nicely landscaped areas we can create space for ‘productive collisions’ that encourage students to interact in more meaningful ways outside the classroom,” said Vice President for Administration Sherwood Wilson.
The redesigned staircase will also accommodate the future pedestrian traffic anticipated with the opening of the new Classroom Building and future development of the North Academic Precinct, including the Multi-Modal Transit Facility.
Demolition began last week on the concrete steps. A temporary wooden staircase had been built to minimize disruption to pedestrians during construction. The stairs may be accessed from the south side of Bishop-Favrao Hall from the Cowgill Hall terrace or the Derring Lot.
The project is expected to be done before the start of the fall semester in mid-August.