Lehigh has always had a gorgeous campus, one of the most beautiful in the country. All of us take great pride in Lehigh’s physical plant, which has been meticulously maintained over the years, making it a showpiece to prospective students, visitors, faculty and staff. It’s also a significant point of pride for alumni, and it continues to be a symbol and a reminder of the excellence in academics that lives behind its walls. You’ll be excited to know that starting right now (quite literally), there is much activity taking place to ensure the beauty and functionality of our campus will “Shine Forever”.
In a matter of just a few weeks, the campus will be in the midst of more than 30 different renovation or improvement projects. All around campus, skilled craftsman will be working hard to make the Lehigh campus a better place to learn, live, and show off our Lehigh pride. I will highlight a few of these projects in my paragraphs below. But for the real nitty-gritty, you can learn much more, get construction updates, participate in a “Blog” (Web-log) discussion, and view pictures on our Campus Improvements web site. All the details of these projects can be found here.
One of our center jewels on campus, the Linderman Library, is undergoing a complete facelift. The library will be closed until Jan. 2007 as we engage in a comprehensive modernization of the facility while maintaining the classic architectural features that have become a signature for Lehigh. We will be adding modern amenities (new inventions like air conditioning!), classroom space, and seminar rooms. From the outside, you will still recognize its grand facade, while renovations to the interior space will make Linderman a state-of-the-art library facility that will become the central hub for humanities on our campus.
Another significant project is Lamberton Hall. This is one of those cases where a building is coming full circle and returning to what it was originally built to provide – student dining. Some of you may know that in the first half of the 20th century, Lamberton was a dining facility. Over time, the space has served many purposes. This year, we’ve begun a compete renovation to return Lamberton to its origins—serving the best of college student fare: cheeseburgers, chicken wings, french fries, etc… – 24 hours a day! In addition to great eats, we are adding activity areas, computer stations, and a lounge space, making it a place to “see and be seen.”
And who can forget parking? Yes, that much-needed parking structure on the west side of campus is finally going up. The new parking garage will be added out on the west side of the Alumni Memorial Building (tucked into the wooded hillside along Brodhead Avenue), which will alleviate much of the congestion on that side of campus. This project has been a long time coming and is a much needed amenity for prospective students and their parents (not to mention all of us who work in the building). Along with this parking project, the back door of the Alumni Memorial Building will be renovated to become our showcase entry point for visitors, complete with a new admissions “arrival court” and a new entrance into the building.
Each of the fraternity houses on campus will also receive a facelift. This work continues our efforts on all fronts to ensure we are doing our part to support the efforts of each house and strengthen Greek Life on Lehigh’s campus. The campus community also benefits by ensuring that the chapter houses remain a part of the overall commitment to maintain and care for our physical plant.
Our Big Dig would not be complete without improving transportation on campus, whether by foot or by car. Included in the roads projects is the connection of Broadhead Avenue to University Avenue (the old loop road in front of Psi U). This may not seem like a big deal… but if you have ever attempted to “circle” our campus, you will know what I am talking about! This connection will allow the circle to happen. And a stroll through campus will be safer, easier, and more beautiful at the area north of the UC and near the flagpole. The road in between Packard Lab and Packer Chapel will become a pedestrian only zone and will connect Memorial Walk (heading west from Taylor Gym) with Leadership Walk (heading east from the Alumni Memorial Building). Now students will have a more casual, quiet place to enjoy the grandeur of campus buildings while studying or meeting up with friends on this central green space. It will be simply stunning… and complete by September 2005 (we hope!).
These are only a few of the major projects underway on campus. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Lehigh community, whether as an alumnus, student, parent, faculty, staff, or visitor. The challenge for Lehigh in all of this is to remain rooted in the tradition and history of our great campus while riding the leading edge of technology and efficiencies. This is a challenge we take very seriously… and when the dust clears I’m certain you will agree… that Lehigh will Shine Forever!!!
Chris Marshall ‘88
Lehigh Alumni Connection