College to create park on campus
September 17, 2012
MacMurray College will be creating a green space on the southeast corner of campus, at Hardin Avenue and Chambers Street, on the land where Blackstock House now stands. Blackstock House was completed in 1957 and was MacMurray’s first dorm for men.
The demolition of Blackstock, made possible by Illinois legislation making state capital funds available to meet approved private college and university capital needs through the Illinois Independent Colleges Capital Program (HB 0312, Capital Program Bill & SB 1221, Trailer Capital Bill). After the former residence hall is removed, which is expected to be completed by February 2013, the resulting open space will become a park.
The park will be anchored by a shaded, central seating area, where MacMurray students can congregate and community members are welcome. Most of the existing trees on the property will remain, and additional landscaping will be added using plants indigenous to Illinois. A Frisbee golf course may be included in the park.
President Colleen Hester indicated that “MacMurray is very pleased to be planning the development of this lovely, green space to support outdoor conversations, personal reflection, and enjoyment of our students and community members.”
Work on the landscaping and on the Frisbee course will begin in the spring. In Frisbee golf, the players throw Frisbees from tees, playing toward target poles that they hit to complete the hole. Each throw is like a stroke in regular golf.
The design work for the new park has been donated by Pat Ward, a local naturalist, owner of Happy Hollow Nursery in Jacksonville and the president of the Morgan County Audubon Society, with the help of Beth Anderson, who did the artist’s rendition (pictured).
“MacMurray College would like to thank the state legislature and our local representatives, Rep. Jim Watson and Sen. Sam McCann,” President Hester said. “In the place of an unused building, they have made it possible to create a space in which MacMurray students and our Jacksonville community can enjoy green space and relax.”