When students come back to school in fall 2014, the 700 and 800 blocks of State Street will be reconstructed, with new paths for bikes and space for seating.
In a meeting of the Downtown Coordinating Committee Thursday night, committee member Rebecca Cnare said the priorities of the area’s reconstruction are to make it “timeless, flexible, durable and easy to maintain.”
Six new solar recycling bins will be placed in this location, Cnare said. She said although these bins will cost six times of an average trash can, this is a worthy investment because labor costs will be reduced and five times the amount of garbage will be able to be compressed in them.
She said the structure of Library Mall will largely remain the same, but movement will be increased between Library Mall, East Campus Mall and State Street as a result of this adjustment.
With this new plan, bikes will be able to pass through the 700 and 800 blocks of State Street along with pedestrians, Cnare said. She said the project designers are looking at different textures to limit bikers from traveling at a rapid pace. When bikers and pedestrians share a path of travel, the bikers seem to ride slower than they do in their own lane, Cnare said.
She said planters and trees will also be added to the 700 and 800 blocks of State Street to give the area a fresh look. Wooden benches and lights will be added in the area, with lanterns and wall lights creating a glowing effect under the planters, she said.
According to Cnare, the committee will add countertop tables to the area yet keep the stadium-style seating Library Mall currently has in the format of islands to increase open space for pedestrian and biker traffic in the area.
City planning spokesperson Bill Fruhling said movable tables and chairs will also be included in the new plan. He said these fixtures will be included in the plan on an experimental basis, as officials are worried people will steal the chairs and tables.
After leaving the 700 and 800 blocks of State Street students will be able to access Bascom Hill directly through a tabletop pathway connecting the two locations in a more effective way, Cnare said.
During the construction, the food carts will be located at East Campus Mall and on Lake Street, Cnare said. She said some of the food carts will go to Epic Systems in Verona for the time being but hopefully will return to the campus area once the project is finished.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the construction is expected to begin right after commencement on May 19 and be mostly completed by fall 2014.