The renovations and new construction of the new Student Union began in the spring of 2012. At that time, War Memorial Student Union Park consisted of three old wooden picnic tables and the 33 pine trees surrounding them. It was not until the second phase of reconstruction that the idea to update the park came about.
Since the initial idea of renovating the park, not much has been done besides routine upkeep and the addition of four new picnic tables contributed by the Physical Plant during the 2015 fall semester. SGA Director of Beautification Priyanka Singh said, this is because both groups have not exactly come to terms with how they plan to update the park, but they have many great ideas in the works.
One plan that is guaranteed to happen is the removal of all 33 pine trees that inhabit the park. Manager of Grounds, Landscape and Recycling and head of the War Memorial Student Union Park project Carlos Doolittle, said that he does not want to see them go, but they really want to start the project with an empty slate. However, all the live oaks will stay.
Students are also able to voice their opinions about what they would like the park to provide. Part of Priyanka’s responsibilities as director is to find out what the student body wants on campus and to be an active voice for the students. She said, “the students really just want to reshape the space into something new. A space where they can hold student events, relax, study or just hang out with friends.”
They have a long road ahead before the project is completed, but in between that time they highly encourage students to come together and take part in the creation of the park.