During the last week of Block 6 and throughout spring break, Colorado College dug up the stones on the sidewalks throughout campus and replaced them with new ones. While on the surface the stones look the same, the new pavers are made of concrete instead of stone.
The concrete material is more reliable for Colorado’s climate, and will prove more durable in the long run. “We were doing constant maintenance out there,” said John Ortiz, the Landscape and Grounds Supervisor at CC.
Large trucks and other vehicles sometimes drive on the stones, causing frequent breakage. “We were spending tens of thousands of dollars each year, just to replace what was there already, so this is kind of a sustainable piece of landscape that we put in now, to hopefully last a lot longer,” said Ortiz.
In order to repair the campus sidewalks, the school spent an estimated $80,000. The money came mostly from the Annual Giving Fund. The project will ultimately save money over the long term by eliminating the need for constant maintenance and the safety concerns that the old sidewalk used to bring. “The pavers often created a trip hazard,” said Ortiz.
CC made the decision to fund this venture when Facilities proposed a plan to the Design Review board. When the board approved the project, the final decision was made by Jill Tiefenthaler and the Cabinet, who also subsequently approved the venture. Facilites experimented with a sample piece of the new material outside Cutler Hall for an entire year before deciding to go ahead with the project.
The project to replace the stones has been in the works ever since the installation of the original pavers. “We have been having issues ever since they were installed, its been in the process for several years, and it went through a lot of people to get there,” said Ortiz.
There was a little grumble around campus about the new stones because of how similar they were to the old ones. People were skeptical about the purpose of the new stones, and believed the money spent on them could have been allocated more effectively. However, the project will eventually allow the school to save money. “We form a two-inch paver stone to four-inch concrete with metal mesh in between. It is definitely going to be more durable against rain, snow, trucks, and plows,” said Ortiz.
Possible future maintenance projects can be seen in CC’s Master Plan. If students have concerns about campus, right now is a great time to express them because of the current construction of the library.