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Peabody Neighborhood Newsletter E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

February 2019

Dear Vanderbilt community and friends,

As you may have noticed or read, exciting changes are underway on Peabody’s campus.

Following the launch of the Academic Strategic Plan in 2013 and FutureVU in 2015, we are now seeing the tangible results of these visions to drive our mission and shape our campus.

One of the most iconic parts of our campus, Peabody College houses university landmarks such as Magnolia Lawn, the Wyatt Center and The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. In addition, Peabody’s Home Economics-Mayborn complex is home to the Human and Organizational Development major—the second-largest for undergraduates at the university—and it is essential to address and update this part of campus to meet the needs of our diverse and growing campus community.

One of our university’s core values is to celebrate diversity and inclusion. This means prioritizing projects that address the need for accessible pathways, entrances, classrooms and meeting spaces, and strengthening pedestrian walkability, ultimately to encourage healthy and inclusive intellectual and social interactions among our faculty, staff and students.

In fact, the Home Economics-Mayborn renovation embodies equity in its very design. Everyone who enters the connector will use the same route and entrance and have access to all floors through a multi-stop elevator, providing accessibility to all parts of both buildings.

As these and other exciting changes unfold, we pledge to remain transparent and communicate those changes through this newsletter as regularly as possible. The vision for this neighborhood will be refined through the capital projects process, and as those changes evolve, you will be hearing more about engagement and feedback opportunities in the coming months. As with all capital projects, the process will include meetings with stakeholders and informational sessions.

We appreciate your partnership and support during this transformative time in our university’s story.


Camilla Benbow


Camilla P. Benbow

Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development





Eric Kopstain

Vice Chancellor for Administration




September 2018

  • Broke ground on phase 1 (Home Economics and Mayborn).

Late Fall 2018

  • Eastern section of Magnolia Circle closed for construction utility work. Will remain permanently closed going forward, except for special events, emergency vehicles and other critical needs.

Summer 2019

  • Peabody Esplanade excavation and construction to begin (after Commencement). Will occur in stages, so the entirety of the Esplanade will not be closed at any one time. Excavation work will not interfere with Peabody orientation and Move-In.
  • Work in Peabody Esplanade will intermittently impact pedestrian traffic throughout summer 2018 through spring 2020.
  • Peabody Maintenance building north section and south section of Chiller building partial demolition to occur June 2019.

Fall 2020

  • Steam to hot water building conversion complete.

Spring 2020

  • Appleton beautification complete.
  • Home Economics and Mayborn to be completed by May 2020.


Future Peabody Planning Efforts

As a part of the ongoing planning efforts for the Peabody campus, goals will be aligned with the FutureVU vision. Connections from Peabody to the main campus will be strengthened both at and above grade as a part of the planning process for the neighborhood, focusing on the pedestrian experience and accessibility. The at-grade crossings, as well as other concepts that are a part of the FutureVU vision, will be considered.

Consistent with the FutureVU principles, special consideration will be made to:

  • Recognize and foster collaboration among the various departments housed on the Peabody campus;
  • Recognize that diversity is integral to the Vanderbilt community and carefully review accessibility of current and future spaces to ensure they are inclusive;
  • Expand the unique park-like setting of the Peabody campus as a part of the overall campus beautification efforts;
  • Ensure that development contributes in a positive way to the campus environment, while also remaining sensitive to Vanderbilt’s history;
  • Integrate pedestrian and bicycle circulation into the overall connectivity of the campus community, specifically, expanding the FutureVU greenway concept to form better connections and a more pedestrian-centric vision throughout the Peabody neighborhood and at the edge;
  • Achieve the highest standards of sustainability through a process of environmental, social and economic responsibility and accountability.

A variety of stakeholders will be engaged with this process and an update on the vision beyond the current Home Economics and Mayborn projects will be shared in the future.

Areial view of Peabody campus

Live Website and Updates

The university, in coordination with Messer Construction, established a live update site that features a weekly schedule of construction activity. The site also includes a regularly updated map of the Peabody neighborhood with construction and fencing noted. The link has also been added to the Peabody neighborhood webpage, a hub of information for community members on all of the efforts at Peabody.

Rendering of Peabody Renovations

Vanderbilt University   |   FutureVU Peabody Neighborhood Newsletter   |   421 Kirkland Hall


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