The University of Minnesota Duluth contacted SAS+Associates to create an Alumni Plaza. Objectives of the projects included creating a number of small seating areas as well as a well defined plaza to host events. The proposed plaza is located in center the historical Chester Park School with views opening to the West toward campus.
The University of Minnesota stormwater requirements guided the development to meet or exceed the pre-development standards necessitating integrated storm water design from the commencement. Creating a plaza and associated design elements with the desired level of appearance as well function. To meet the pre-development objectives below grade stormwater storage elements were added connected to the pervious pavements. The subgrade storage; sand and rock trenches collect the surface water and allow for it to slowly make it to a raingarden. The balance of the stormwater that is not collected from the slow infiltration will flow overland to the same raingarden.
Another important aspect of the project was salvage and reuse of a variety of materials from prior campus deconstruction. Materials such as limestone from building faces, pavers from walk boarders and slabs of stone from steps. Creating a new space that incorporates deep-rooted elements and blends them with new tells a story and history about the campus. Selection of durable re-use materials will provide a high quality experience for plaza users.
When the Alumni Plaza is not be used for a function it will serve the adjacent educational professions for small area functions such as musical play, smaller group gatherings, relaxation and studying sessions.