Friday, December 15, 2017

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Campus Green is an urban park-like outdoor location next to South Campus Plaza that features benches, grass and trees. Campus Green is an urban park-like outdoor location next to South Campus Plaza that features benches, grass and trees.
 


Campus Green

A former parking lot becomes an inviting new open space.
By Tobin Vaughn
 

Like a butterfly from a cocoon, an inviting new open space for the San Diego State University community is set to emerge from the site of a former asphalt parking lot. Construction fences are set to come down Friday, April 7 to reveal Campus Green, an urban park-like outdoor location featuring benches, grass and lots of trees.

The one-acre tract is the final phase of construction for South Campus Plaza, the $142.7-million mixed-use retail and residential development nearing completion along the west side of College Avenue north of Montezuma Road. Campus Green is designed primarily to serve as outdoor space for nearby high-rise residence hall dwellers.

"With our new buildings there really isn't any other green space close by,” said Laura Shinn, SDSU director of facilities planning. “We have roof decks for barbecues or hanging out with friends, but we wanted to allow students living in those buildings to have a chance to get out and throw a Frisbee or a football and do something active."

To accommodate such activity, grass has been planted to cover most of the western side of the site. The area is ringed with drought-tolerant trees such as California sycamores, Canary Island pines, coastal live oak to provide shade, and smaller ornamental varieties of Marina strawberry trees and Eastern redbuds.

“When the trees mature, there will be some decent shade around some of the bench clusters,” Shinn said.

A natural buffer

A landscaped storm water retention basin occupies the north end of the site to catch runoff, primarily from the hardscape section of the site. Shinn said it is also intended as a kind of natural buffer between the traffic and bustle of the transit center and the more nature-friendly environment of the rest of the location. Numerous light poles have been installed throughout the open space to allow for its nighttime use.

As part of the South Campus Plaza development, a new six-level parking garage has been constructed south of Campus Green between Hardy Avenue and Lindo Paseo. The 300-space facility is expected to open in April.