LAWRENCE — The ongoing Jayhawk Boulevard project on the University of Kansas campus continues to attract recognition for its unique combination of restoring a historic campus landmark and embracing sustainability. The Mid-America Regional Council has honored KU as one of nine local projects named 2014 Sustainable Success Stories. The ceremony took place earlier today at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.
Sustainable Success Stories is part of an ongoing community dialogue focused on building a better understanding of sustainable practices that have the potential to transform the community through quality placemaking. By sharing local successes and challenges, community partners can learn how to replicate effective practices with the long-term goal of improving the quality of life for residents in the Kansas City region.
Jim Modig, university architect and director of Design & Construction Management, said the recognition from MARC was a major accomplishment for the project.
“Jayhawk Boulevard is one of those special spots every KU alumnus wants to take his or her friends and family to share memories of their college years. Our commitment during this project has been to make sure we aren’t just building a new road, but we’re restoring the historic tree canopy, installing additional landscaping and including features that highlight the university’s commitment to the sustainable use of precious natural resources.”
The 2014 Sustainable Success Stories awards highlight projects that advance the three pillars of sustainability: social equity, economic vitality and environmental stewardship. MARC recognized the Jayhawk Boulevard reconstruction for keeping sustainability in mind “by improving transit stops, providing green solutions for stormwater management, creating additional places for student interaction and green space, and reviving the historic landscape and street canopy.”
The Jayhawk Boulevard project is currently halfway through its planned timeline. Phase 3, from Sunflower Road to 14th Street, will begin following commencement in May 2015. Phase 4 will complete the reconstruction through the Docking Gateway beginning in May 2016.
Phase 2 of the project created “Ecozones” as areas along the corridor to incorporate green stormwater techniques. In addition, the restoration of the historic tree canopy has so far planted 128 new trees, and a total of 206 plantings are planned with a net gain of 114 trees. Donations to restore the tree canopy are being sought through KU Endowment.