In September 2020, Oglethorpe broke ground on a new ADA-compliant boardwalk, which improves accessibility and helps connect the academic quad to the Turner Lynch Campus Center and residence halls. This project was completed ahead of the Fall 2021 semester.
Design plans called for the former steep sidewalk with stairs to be transformed into an elevated boardwalk winding through the grove of trees and to the creek in the heart of campus. A gift spearheaded by the Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees, the boardwalk is dedicated to former University President Dr. Larry Schall and First Lady Betty Londergan in appreciation of their service and leadership during his 15-year tenure.
The Schall Woodland Walk is ADA-compliant and accessible via multiple existing paths, allowing the entire campus community to use the same common path of travel from the academic quad to the campus center and residence halls. It features a composite non-slip decking surface, a cabled rail system, and security lighting, with viewing areas and additional landscaping highlighting the structure.
“One of the beauties of the Oglethorpe campus is the many acres of forest and beautiful park-like walks that exist in the middle of a vibrant and growing Brookhaven community,” said Lance Knight, director of facilities and planning, who oversaw the project. “The Woodland Walk is an opportunity to utilize a highly used area of campus to upgrade our accessible walks, while highlighting the natural beauty that exists.”
For years, navigating campus was a challenge due to a lack of adequate accessibility paths connecting where students learn and where they live. While ADA paths existed, they were inconvenient and did not align with the common paths of travel.
“This project embodies Larry, who always want[ed] to serve the students in the best way possible, while continuing to enhance the look and feel of a beautiful campus that he deeply cares for,” said Oglethorpe Trustee Belle Turner Lynch ’61. “It is a fitting tribute to thank Larry and Betty for the amazing 15 years they have devoted to Oglethorpe.”
“The woodland walkway is a gift from the Oglethorpe Trustees so everyone who loves the university will remember and appreciate the extraordinary contributions Larry and Betty have made…” said Trustee Jack Guynn. “They have helped to position Oglethorpe for the decades to come, to be able to continue to offer the unique college experience for which it has always been known.”
View the completed project in the Instagram video below!
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