The intent of this initiative was to develop an overall plan that would provide physical improvements to the entire campus grounds of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo. The objectives of the campus master planning and enhancement initiative are broad reaching, but are primarily intended to enhance campus wide functionality, improve vehicular access and parking, and to enhance child safety and security. It was also intended to create a cohesive, mission affirming campus identity, develop a campus wide sense of place, and establish a green oasis in an otherwise completely paved urbanized setting by enhancing the campus edges, boundaries, and general streetscapes with hedges, decorative fences, gates, signage and landscaping. It was envisioned that the campus interior be greened and softened by the addition of building foundation plantings, trees, shrubs, landscape beds and increased lawn areas.
Further, the goal of this initiative includes a ‘greening’ of the campus both literally and figuratively. This is meant to help provide a unique sense of place with defined, secured edges, landscaped gardens, nature based educational opportunities, a community garden, a new multi-sport irrigated turf lawn playing field and natural settings for unstructured, creative play and recreation. The scope of work will include adding landscape buffers, trees and lawn areas wherever possible to not only create a green oasis but to mitigate the environmental impact of so much impervious paved surfaces. Also it is intended that the site lighting for signage, parking, security, pedestrian walks, and emergency lighting should be examined for potential improvements and energy cost savings.
Also included in the overall scope is the re-configuration and renovations to the playground and playground equipment to enhance playground safety, security, accessibility and monitoring capacity while increasing parking efficiencies and decreasing pedestrian/vehicular crossing points; thus enhancing overall site safety for the children and families of St. Augustine School and Parish and those of our neighbors and wider community.