Academic Quad closed on November 6, and the remodel is scheduled to be completed in April 2024
By Nayeli Shad 11/7/23 11:40 p.m
The Academic Quad closed on Nov. 6 to begin construction of the remodel, according to a campus-wide email from Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Kelly Fox. The closure and construction are expected to continue until late April 2024.
All entries to the quad closed For pedestrians. This includes Sallyport, between Sewall and Razor Halls, near the Razor side entrance, between Herzstein and Anderson Halls and in front of Fondren Library. Access to the buildings surrounding the square will remain open through covered walkways. A temporary walkway has been added to allow ADA access to Anderson Hall while construction of Cannady Hall continues, according to Brian Miller, facilities and exhibits coordinator at Rice Architecture.
Board of Trustees Announce In January 2022, the William Marsh Rice statue will be moved within the Quad in response to the recommendations of the Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice and student feedback. In 2020 students He protested privately The presence of Willie’s statue in the plaza is due to the founder’s history as a slave owner, along with his 1891 announcement that the university would be open only to “the white population of Houston and Texas.” Nelson Byrd WoltzThe landscape architecture firm redesigning the quad has proposed moving the statue between Lovett and Sewall Halls while leaving the plinth on which it stands in place.
In conjunction with NBW, Facilities Engineering and Planning first sought feedback from students at unveil For the original design proposed on March 9. In addition to moving the Willie statue, the then-proposed design added a curving, tree-lined path through the quad and pool areas next to Fondren Library. The university held additional feedback sessions for faculty, staff, alumni and student groups in April.
University architect George Ristow said feedback indicated to the university what parts of the Quad community it wanted to preserve and where they wanted to see changes.
“Many students and alumni participated in the survey, which provided a lot of input and helped prioritize areas within the Quad for things like revitalization through shade and furniture, or preservation of historic catwalks — especially in the eastern third of the Quad near Lovett Hall,” Resto wrote. In an email to Thresher.
The final design, which Ristow said has been approved by the Board of Trustees, has not yet been revealed to the public but will be released soon. The university and NBW maintained the original design while making changes based on feedback gathered, Ristow said.
“The basic framework of the pathways carries over the ideas that were active in the conceptual design phase, although the overall design has changed to include additional feedback from the Rice community, not only through the spring engagement sessions, but also through subsequent reviews with leadership and others,” Resto wrote: “They contributed to the design process.”
Alex Nuyda ’21 has been taking senior portraits of Rice students since she was an undergraduate, and she said April is the busiest month in the field. While the redesign is expected to continue until then, she said she expects more difficulties for photographers and that students may mourn the loss of the popular photo site.
“I can imagine it would be really difficult to accommodate everyone who wants to get beautiful photos without someone behind them, because you have a limited time frame where you can take photos,” Noida said. “But I’m confident there will be some flexibility for students as they will be willing to take photos in other locations or be more creative about the type of photos they want to take.”
President Reggie Desroches said the redesign is intended to reflect Rice’s history as an institution and serve the current campus community.
“The Quad is one of the university’s most iconic spaces. “It’s what people imagine when they think of Rice, and that’s why the evolution of this space is so important,” Desroches wrote in an email to The Thresher. “Our goal with this redesign is to “Preserving the university’s rich history and creating new areas that will build community and deeper connections to this historic part of campus.”