Front Campus Landscape Restoration and Enhancement Plan

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    Preliminary Concept, April 2013

    Overview

    On February 10, 2013, an EF-4 tornado severely damaged the landscape along the Hardy Street and Hwy 49 entrance of the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus. The Front Campus Landscape Restoration and Enhancement Plan is a multi-phase effort to not only redevelop what was damaged or lost, but also make improvements that enrich the experience for all who visit our campus.

    While the primary goal is to provide a more attractive campus entrance that creates strategic sightlines to the university’s historic architecture, this project will also offer suggestions for new pedestrian pathways. In addition, proposals for the establishment of stronger connections to adjacent land uses, the creation of additional nodes of interaction, and provisions for green infrastructure will be incorporated. 

    The resources and expertise of multiple arborists, members of the university’s Biological Sciences department and the Tree Management Task Force were utilized to create this plan. These specialists will continue to play an active role in the determination of tree and plant species, age, size and other characteristics important to maintaining a healthy landscape.   

    This plan represents the resiliency of the Hattiesburg and campus communities while offering the opportunity to create attractive and functional interactive space for future generations of Southern Miss students, faculty, staff and visitors. 

    Southern Miss to the Top!

     

    Viewshed Analysis

    Analysis of historic photographs of the area of campus damaged by the tornado revealed important views and design lines. Framing the historic architecture of key buildings and features, these views and design lines were priority considerations in the creation of this plan.

    Primary Views – Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building, College Hall and Southern Hall

    Secondary Views - Ogletree Alumni House and Lake Byron

     

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    Preliminary Planting Plan

    The proposed tree planting plan provides the framework for desirable views of College and Southern Halls, the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building, Ogletree Alumni House and Lake Byron. Smaller tree plantings, as well as shrub and groundcover plantings, will complement the prominent views and provide a splash of color.

    Lake Byron will receive improvements such as an increase in size and the ability to temporarily retain stormwater. Hardscape improvements will include sidewalks and multi-use paths to increase access to campus from across Highway 49 and Hardy Street, increase accessible routes to the Rose Garden and Lake Byron, as well as provide a location to recognize charitable gifts for the project.

     

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    Preliminary Phasing Plan

    Implementation of the proposed improvements will occur in phases. The Gateway Phase will be implemented first, as it is the most visible and highly used entrance of campus. The District Phase would be next, followed by the Lake Byron Phase. Additional phases will be completed as seasonal planting conditions and funding permits.  

     

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    Gateway Phase

    First to be implemented, the Gateway Phase will consist of sidewalk, landscape and irrigation improvements. The sidewalk improvements will include a new sidewalk adjacent to the parking on West and East Memorial Drives. The landscape improvements will include tree planting consisting of live oak, crape myrtle, Japanese magnolia, green ash and Japanese camellia. Shrub and groundcover improvements will consist of drift roses, butterfly iris, black-eyed Susan, evergreen giant liriope and other attractive plant material. Irrigation will be modified and expanded to provide the necessary coverage for all landscape and lawn areas. 


    District Phase

    The District Phase will follow the Gateway Phase and will include a variety of large shade trees, such as native oaks, ash, chestnut and elm.  The existing lawn will be repaired, and a new irrigation system will be added.  

     

    Lake Byron Phase

    The Lake Byron Phase will include an expansion of the perimeter, addition of an attractive bulkhead and an aerating pond fountain. The spillway structure will undergo a minor modification to allow for temporary retention and release of approximately 18 to 24 inches of stormwater. Hardscape improvements will include a new bridge, sidewalks and a retaining wall that will offer an opportunity to honor donors or distinguished individuals. This phase will also include planting native tree species such as oak, hickory, magnolia and longleaf pine on the western and eastern sides of Lake Byron.

     

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    This phase will also include hardscape improvements such as a multi-use pathway to the midtown mid-block crosswalk, a pedestrian gathering space, and a continuation of the multi-use pathway toward the intersection of Southern Miss Drive and East Memorial Drive.  Large live oak plantings will provide the framework for desirable views and will provide shaded pedestrian spaces. Irrigation and minor shrub and groundcover improvements will also be included in this phase.

    Click the image to view a larger size. 

     

    Hardy West and East Phases

    The Hardy West and East Phases will include large live oak trees used as street trees. Small shrubs and groundcover will also be included in this phase at the Championship Drive and N. 31st Avenue entrances to campus. Small shrubs and groundcover will be included to frame the views of Lake Byron, Southern Hall and College Hall. Both phases will include new or improved irrigation.

     

    Marsh Phase

    The Marsh Phase will include the addition of the Marsh Hall Plaza, which consists of an approximately 24-inch seat wall and decorative paving. The seat wall will also function as a retaining wall to achieve a more appropriate planting grade for the large live oak trees that will provide the framework for desirable views of College Hall. Irrigation, minor shrubs and groundcover improvements will also be included in this phase.

     

    Rose Garden Phase

    The Rose Garden Phase will include lawn, small shrub and groundcover improvements to complement the Rose Garden and view of Southern Hall. New irrigation and improvements to existing irrigation will also occur.

    Click the image to view a larger size.

     

    Highway 49 Phase

    The Highway 49 Phase will include large live oak trees used as street trees. Small shrub and groundcover will also be included as an understory planting. This phase will also include new or improved irrigation.