As previously mentioned in the first edition of this newsletter, the West End Neighborhood is undergoing a transformation intended to create a more inclusive, communal environment across this key area of campus. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by the university’s 150th anniversary in 2023.
One component of this plan entails a beautification project to provide a more “park-like feel” in the neighborhood, thereby enhancing the communities of nearby West Side Row and Greek Row. Another piece is the construction of three new residential colleges between 23rd and 25th avenues. These buildings depict a physical representation of Vanderbilt’s academic mission and are designed to extend the immersive undergraduate experience to the many hours spent outside the classroom.
The West End Neighborhood provides a unique opportunity for students and alumni to engage with an initiative that will affect Commodores now and well into the future. Chancellor Zeppos said it best in a recent article: “We are choosing to make this investment for our current generation and for the generations of Vanderbilt students yet to come. These buildings are being built to inspire, to create community, to generate knowledge, and they are built to last.”
Below is an updated look at plans for the neighborhood based on input from students and alumni accumulated throughout the planning process.
The West End Neighborhood Team
Virtual Reality Views of RC-A
Hastings Architecture Associates has created rendered environments that shed further light on the design of RC-A, the newest residential college under construction.
Click on the links below to view 2D browser mode. The screen might initially load in a 3D format, which has two images side-by-side. If so, simply click the 4-way arrow icon in the middle of the screen to change to a single image view.
In consultation with student leaders and Greek life staff, project managers for the West End Neighborhood redesign developed an accelerated timeline for the construction of five houses and a community event house, scheduling the project completion for a year and a half earlier than originally planned.
Beautification efforts and updated facilities in the neighborhood are now slated to finish by January 2020, with construction of the first two houses beginning this August. Included in the plan is a new National Pan-Hellenic Council house and a community event space available for all students. These components align with the FutureVU guiding principle of creating more inclusive and accessible spaces on campus.
University leaders are continuing to work closely with residents and alumni connected to the neighborhood to further develop the plan. Accommodations have been arranged for all residents displaced during the construction process.
Greek House Backyard Sketches
Campus Planning is collaborating with several campus partners to design new backyards for Greek houses in the neighborhood. It has been deemed appropriate to start with the four houses adjacent to RC-A as they are most immediately impacted by construction: Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Nu and Pi Beta Phi. Staff is working closely with these organizations and the designs continue to evolve. Below are preliminary samples (click each image to enlarge):
End of March: Meetings with KS, DKE and LCA regarding future house construction
End of March: Complete move of fiber and power underground; blasting complete.
April 23: Undergraduate classes end for students.
April 24 – May 1: Undergraduate final exams. Drilling schedule to be adjusted for final exam period.
Drilling to be complete
Will begin pouring concrete slabs; work on RC-A to begin above ground
Lambda Chi Alpha house cleared. Begin construction of two new houses that will house NPHC and ZTA (Anticipated to be finished summer of 2019).
Complete temporary backyard work at ATO, KKG, SN and PBP
After final exams, Greek parking lot closed for constructions. No further parking in Greek lots.
Phase one beautification efforts in West End Neighborhood (alleyways) begin
Phase one beautification efforts in West End Neighborhood (alleyways) complete