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Students rallying to save CCA courtyard

staff writer

Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013

Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 00:10

CCA courtyard

Joshua Larisch photo

Bicycles are parked in the courtyard of the Caine College of the Arts. Students are petitioning to protect the trees in the courtyard, which is scheduled to be remodeled.


USU’s Caine College of the Arts has big plans for the Kent Concert Hall Courtyard. It will become a construction zone by Monday, preventing students access to the hall through the main entrance — but for some students, inconvenience is not the issue.

Sam Taylor, a junior studying landscape architecture, has taken a particular interest in the project. He sees the courtyard as one of the most beautiful and valuable places on campus and important due to its use and the legacy it holds.

The space was designed by a 1967 USU graduate, Garr Campbell, who later received his master’s degree from Harvard. He was a well-known landscape architect who worked throughout Europe and the East Coast, according to Michael Timmons, associate professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning.

The courtyard is also used as an event venue for everything from outdoor concerts to dances, as well as another place to eat lunch. Many students enjoy the space, finding relief from sun exposure beneath the trees which have stood there since the 1980s.

Taylor believes a space with such a legacy needs to be preserved. Taylor ran a petition, getting signatures from more than 500 students in support. He then submitted the petition to the dean of the Caine College of the Arts, Craig Jessop.

Wednesday morning, Taylor met with Jessop and Samuel Wright, ASUSU Arts senator, to discuss his concerns.

Taylor realized the construction plans are in advanced stages and it would be difficult to alter them now. However, he urged Jessop and Wright to consider maintaining some of the trees, protecting the square from sun exposure and preserving part of its legacy.

Consensus in the meeting led Taylor to believe the original brick will be used in the new structure. He hopes the facilities will consider the petition, as he has seen green spaces on campus removed in the past.

He compared it to the Distance Education building, which replaced what he thought was the best-landscaped parking lot at the university. Taylor felt it a personal duty to make an effort to preserve the courtyard and has learned a lot about the political process in doing.

“This courtyard is really important to our school,” Taylor said. “It’s a valuable space. You can see people out here at any given time. It was designed by an alumni, and in that sense, it kind of has a significant legacy.”

Though administrators could not be contacted for comment at the time this article was published, the plans for the courtyard are scheduled to be implemented soon. The project plans are being shown to staff members of the Caine College of the Arts in meetings both Friday and Monday, according to Timmons.

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