If you’ve visited the Macomb campus recently, you’ve probably noticed that the University prides itself in making the grounds look spiffy and professional. To further enhance the university’s appearance, WIU administrators and staff have decided that a new entryway is needed on the north side of campus, allowing for a better first impression on travelers from the north. Included in the new entryway plans is a Welcome Center, in the former Godfather’s location. But where does the whole process start?
I got the opportunity to chat with Gerald Scott and Scott Coker, who are both a part of Facilities Management who are working on this project. Both gentlemen made it clear to me that nothing is set in stone for the entryway. Scott gave me a basic summary of the plans. It was agreed among the management that the most used entrance to the University is at University Drive and Laayette Street. So the management team got to work, drafting a plan and developing sketches of a new entryway. Gerald was able to share some of these ideas with me through sketches.
The management team would also like to improve the landscaping around this area. If any of you have been over on that side of campus, you can see that it needs a little TLC. The university would like to spice it up because, again, this is the first thing that students, alumni and visitors see as they enter Leatherneck territory! The management team hopes to add some trees and plants to make the entryway and soon-to-be Welcome Center aesthetically appealing. The Welcome Center will include needed information for visitors to Western and first time students.
Gerald and Scott say that their goal is to have the entryway and landscaping completed by next fall. After that, work would begin on the new Welcome Center. The management team says they are still very early in the design stage and there is likely to be some changes before construction begins.
They say you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. And that’s why WIU wants to make the best first impression on all campus visitors. I am excited for construction to begin and I know all alumni will be excited for this make-over, whatever route the University takes!