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D’Angelo Mall Gets a New Look During Summer Renovations
A key feature of USciences historic campus received a facelift this summer as the Facilities Department reimagined the landscaping along D’Angelo Mall and removed a few potential hazard trees, as well as addressed several overgrown plantings in the process.
“This is the heart of our campus where USciences students, faculty, and staff interact daily. It is also a critical starting point for many prospective students and their families embarking on admissions tours,” said Dan Severino, director of facilities services. "The first impression at any campus is a critical moment in the higher education decision making process. Facilities Services believed the time was now to invest in one of our key first impression spaces at USciences."
The project was also inhibited by a pipe replacement for the Pharmacy/Toxicology Center. The mall area had been dug up in the past year to facilitate that replacement, so the area was already disturbed. Additionally, two large trees in the area had been deemed hazardous and needed to be removed. In their place a dozen trees were planted and new plants installed.
Green City Works employees install new plantings on D'Angelo Mall. (Photos provided by University City District)
The work was completed in partnership with University City District’s Green City Works, which trains and employs area residents to permanent landscaping jobs to serve several clients in University City.
“We wanted to grow our partnership and support our local community,” said Severino. “The people who are actually doing the work are from the community, so these kinds of projects reflect our commitment to them and our portion of University City.”
The organization also worked on the rain garden project outside of the McNeil Science and Technology Center (STC) last year. Severino said four full-time jobs were created from USciences’ projects so far.
“We wanted to build upon our project at STC last year, and use several similar species of native plants to our area which are drought tolerant, and take less resources to maintain, yet create interest throughout the year. This project will also create a sense of continuity for the campus landscape as a whole,’ Severino said.
A medicinal garden, inspired by USciences healthcare and science focus, was also implemented in the large planter at the top of the mall. Included in the raised bed are plantings with medicinal attributes such as Echinacea, Carolina Jasmin, Ginseng, and Digitalis.
The mall will be finished with new furniture including bistro-style tables and chairs that are easy to move around, so students, faculty, and staff can come to the space and move around the furniture to suit their needs to create moments of interaction, and collaboration, he said.
The adjacent Pharmacy/Toxicology Center is also being renovated this summer. Two lab spaces and classrooms were updated with state-of-the-art equipment and upgraded technology for the use in the pharmaceutical science program.
Earlier this month USciences’ new residence hall project took another step forward with the start of the exterior demolition of the former Alexander Wilson School. Demolition is expected to continue through August 2017.