Earlier this year, the Students’ Association (SA) Senate passed a resolution endorsing the proposed construction of green space on the brick plaza near Meliora Hall. Although construction was slated to start and finish this past summer, to our dismay, this particular project, dubbed the Meliora Oasis, has fallen to the wayside.
As outlined in the SA Senate resolution, “the current Meliora Oasis is visually underwhelming and lacks a cardinal purpose, despite inhabiting a central thoroughfare on campus.”
We wholeheartedly agree that this well-trafficked location is in dire need of a fresh look.
Unfortunately, the project has been put on hold indefinitely.
“The project was delayed because funds for the project were not approved during the 2013 capital budgeting process,” SA Communications & PR Chair and sophomore David Stark said.
Many students have complained about the slow progress of other construction projects such as College Town (which was in the works for over a decade) or last year’s repairs outside the IT Center (which were delayed by over a month). Likewise, we fear that the Meliora Oasis, which because of its hefty $64,000 price tag, may not see the light of day.
If UR administrators truly want to make our campus visually more appealing, it should seek to promptly implement plans such as this for campus renewal.
Since both UR officials and student body representatives put so much time and effort into developing this proposal, it is peculiar that an improvement so relatively modest in scale was turned down because of an alleged lack of funds.
“The proposal is likely to be competitive next year,” Stark said.
We hope so.
Whatever the reasons given for this year’s cancellation, Stark’s sentiment gives us hope that UR will make the right decision and budget the funds necessary to make the Meliora Oasis a reality.