UR buys old Wegmans building

UR bought the empty Wegmans building on Mt. Hope Avenue within walking distance of campus this past September.

Although the long-term use of the building has yet to be decided, it is being used for a number of short-term purposes such as parking and “swing space” for the UR Medical Center.

“Wegmans decided to close earlier this year and approached us to see if we were interested,” Director of space planning at the Medical Center Mary Okkenden said. “It was a wonderful opportunity for us to expand and round off our boundaries around Mt. Hope Avenue.”

“The question right now is whether to demolish the building completely and redevelop it or not, since most of the buildings in that area have lived a full life and are in need of repair,” Okkenden said. “Since the building is ours and we are paying for it, there is no external pressure to come up with a decision. Right now we are just responsible for keeping the building safe and sound.”

UR Associate Vice President of Public Relations Robert Kraus shed light on the current short-term uses of the property. “The building is not in use,” Kraus said. “However, the parking lot is being used by the university staff. Hence, security is patrolling it and a blue light has also been installed.”

Kraus also said that a major reason for the purchase was that the Medical Center is constantly thinking ahead in terms of expanding. “Though we still have to decide what we want to do with the building, its favorable location presented many options for the Medical Center,” Okkenden said.

Graduate student Jon Insler is a resident of Goler House, the high-rise apartment building just east of the Wegmans.

He believed that any development would probably not make much difference to the residents of Goler House. “The only effect it would have is parking,” he said. “But since you need a permit to park here anyways, it wouldn’t have a major effect.”

ResLife starts effort to

protect trees on campus

In response to $2,000 of damage to plant material on campus grounds, ResLife has begun an advertising campaign to discourage students from tearing off pieces of trees and bushes for holiday dorm decorations.

“Live cut trees and branches are not allowed in the dorms or fraternities,” Manager of Horticulture and Grounds Dan Schied said. “We need to emphasize that this is vandalism. Last year trees on campus were damaged, the tops cut out and branches were broken off. When just the top of a tree is taken, it represents many years of nurturing and is often from a tree worth over $1,000 if it were to be replaced at that size.”

According to Director of Residential Life Logan Hazen, the campaign will remind students of the hazards of certain holiday decorations and push environmental awareness on campus.

“I would also be glad to answer any questions a student group may have regarding appropriate holiday decorating and assist in any reasonable way,” Schied said. “We are happy to work with students as part of campus life activities, and are happy to speak with them at 273-5815.”

Several students of Anderson and Wilder Towers have already contacted Schied in an attempt to celebrate the holidays by setting up a student-purchased tree between the two towers.

“Although it’s just an idea for now, I think it would be great to set up a tree between Towers and make decorations with friends. It wouldn’t be a tree celebrating any specific holiday, but really just a mark of all upcoming winter holidays,” junior Sarah Rastagar said.

“Since we can’t have indoor decorations this would be fun to set up and, I think, even a fun way to meet people at Towers, because pretty much anyone could put their own ornament on the tree,” she said.

Reporting by Shweta Krishnan

and Brielle Welzer.

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