MOUNT VERNON — Visitors to Mount Vernon Nazarene University may be seeing some changes to the west end of campus in the near future.
MVNU’s board of directors met recently to approve a new design which makes changes to the entrance, driveway and parking layout of the university.
“It’s not a slam dunk,” said Jeff Spear, vice president of finance at MVNU. “We’re still in the fundraising process and are not in a position to reveal a final drawing. Preliminary drawings have been approved, but we want to handle this very carefully.”
In looking at preliminary drawings, the north campus entrance near the R.R. Hodges Chapel would be taken out to make way for a parking lot. All chapel parking would be to the immediate east and north of the chapel building. Parking at the chapel is currently split between two lots and accessed between two entrances. “All parking will now be connected, and this will help us out a great deal,” said Spear.
There will be one entrance onto campus from Martinsburg Road with a parallel exit roadway, both of which are currently utilized for this purpose. Traffic going to the chapel parking lot would turn to the left once entering campus. This roadway would also connect onto the current Campus Drive near the Jetter School of Business and continue east toward Cougar Drive. Turn lanes from Ohio 586 into the campus entrance are also being explored.
“We’re hoping to reduce the incidents of traffic tie-ups,” said Spear. The area between the Hodges Chapel and Founders Hall currently used as a parking lot will be converted to green space.
Also in the plans is the construction of a new campus Welcome Center.
“This would be for administrative offices and admissions purposes for those visiting campus,” said Spear. This is planned in the space to the immediate south of the campus entrance which is currently used for faculty and staff parking, which will be shifted further south adjacent to the Parry Building.
“This all depends on donor funding,” said Spear when projecting a timeline for the construction project. “We still need to develop a master plan where we can finalize where to put things. This would probably be done in two phases, where I believe we would start with the northern end and move to the southern end. We would probably be looking at the summer of 2012 and 2013.”
The board also discussed plans for the newly acquired property at 201 S. Main St. No final decision has been made on what the space will be used for.
“The board saw some different possibilities and wants the administration to do some more work,” said Spear. “We want to work with donors on this project and hope to have some plans in place before a May meeting.”