NKU gives $50,000 to help beautify residence area

President Geoffrey Mearns announced that NKU plans to give $50,000 to help install new features around the village and residence halls at an Association of Campus Residence meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

According to Mearns, the choice of what will be put there will be left up to a committee of students and can be anything they would like to choose, including possible projects in landscape, signage and campus art.

Mearns got his inspiration for this new project from a past project where he approved $75,000 to renovate the main part of campus with landscaping.

“Perhaps the same energy that had been put in for the main campus could be put into the residence area as well,” said Mearns as he addressed ACR.

The only things Mearns asked, was that if the committee chose a landscape project, he would like students to be involved in the installation and maintaining the sight.

“It will create a nice tradition and you will be able to hand down the tradition of maintaining,” Mearns said.

Mearns has asked the committee to have ideas for the money by the end of January and by middle to late March to have presentations for the possible projects ready.

Though, some ideas have already started to form for staff on campus, according Arnie Slaughter, director of housing, they are “holding off” on sharing their ideas.

“I want to hold off on sharing my ideas, for students to really take ownership of the plans,” Slaughter said.

What NKU really wants students to know about the project is that it wants students to make the decisions on what will be done in the project, according to Larry Blake, assistant vice president of facilities management who will be on the committee to help students.

“Were going to be more of advisers than selectors,” Blake said.

As long as there aren’t any delays in planning. By the end of January the committee should have ideas, President Mearns will meet with the committee by mid-February to discuss ideas, and by middle to late March, the presentations will be reviewed by the committee and President Mearns.

Provided all goes to plan, NKU hopes to begin construction on the project and it should begin by the late spring or early summer of 2014 according to Slaughter.