Going outside


Story by Zack Katz, Staff Writer

The Davies Student Center is nearing completion, but there are still several additions to be made around the building.

In particular, construction has begun on an amphitheater outside of the Davies Center on the campus mall.

As a part of the entire student center construction project, this amphitheater has been in the works for a long time. However, because of complications with the mall’s irrigation system, the project has been pushed to the back burners until now.

University Activities Commission Concert Co-Chair Sam Roedger considers the outdoor event center something for students to be excited about.

“I think the amphitheater will mean more quality events for the campus,” Roedger said. “Having a new venue of this nature will allow students to plan events according to their strengths without being limited by their surroundings.”

In the past, it has been difficult to host large-scale outdoor events on campus due to space limitations.  The aim of opening the mall up was to create a more spacious environment for students.

Roedger feels as if the project leaders are taking this into account. “From my understanding, the amphitheater has been designed to complement the campus mall green space.”

Now, because of the size increase of the campus mall, the university will be able to facilitate anything student organizations plan to host outdoors in the future.

Laura West, another member of the UAC, feels students will find this amphitheater as a more accessible source for outdoor entertainment than we’ve seen in the past.

“The clock tower was one of my favorite areas on campus,” West said. “The amphitheater will provide an excellent equivalent to that for the concerts we will plan.”

This project does seem to be inspired by the clock tower area that was constructed with the old Davies Center.However, the new amphitheater will provide a more open, inviting atmosphere.

Similar to the Sounds Like Summer festival held at Phoenix Park, UAC predicts there will be music festivals hosted at the campus’ new amphitheater in the future.

Roedger and West predict the outdoor event center will be an open option for any student organization, and in a similar fashion to ­­­rooms within the Davies Center, the amphitheater will be available for reservation openly.

So, when can we expect to see the finished product? Director of Facilities Management Terry Classen said it’s tough to say.
Completion of the project is now incumbent on the installation of irrigation systems on the mall.

“We’re playing with the weather in terms of what’s left,” Classen said.

Classen said a number of additions to the landscape such as limestone blocks and grass are still to be set in place.

“In terms of size, the amphitheater will begin at the circle already under construction and emanate out towards the sidewalk, as well as towards the south side of Schofield,” Classen said.

After the technicalities are overcome, the weather will most likely prevent construction from continuing until the project can be completed in early spring.

However, once the snow clears up students will be welcomed with a new outdoor center. Keep your eyes open for concerts and events hosted at our new amphitheater this spring.