CUchapelCampbell University, where I’m fortunate enough to teach in the Divinity School, has been undergoing waves of construction for several years: a new pharmacy school, a nice arena for basketball and other sports, new dorms for women and men, a football stadium, a beautiful chapel, a new medical school … and more are on the books.

For folks who haven’t visited the campus in a number of years, however, the most striking changes are aesthetic. The World War II era quonset hut beside the dining hall is history, along with small parking lots that traded beauty for convenience. A careful plan to beautify and enhance the campus has been ongoing for several years. Trees and grass cover former mid-campus parking lots. Brick walkways have replaced dirt paths. Formal gateways, fountains, and helpful signage make the campus more inviting.

CUconstructionOne of the summer projects is the addition of several low brick walls capped with concrete at just the right height for sitting. The walls add a nice design element to the overall campus, but are also designed to encourage community building by offering students convenient places to sit and chat.

CUdumpsterYesterday I noticed workmen digging up a section of a brick-covered plaza in order to add another section of the low wall. A back hoe was working on a trench to serve as the wall’s foundation, dropping bucket loads of dirt and probably some broken brick into a wheeled dumpster designed for construction debris.

I couldn’t help but smile, considering that the dumpster was clearly labeled “No concrete brick or dirt.”

But where else could they put it? Rules are rules and signs are signs, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

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