In the third episode of Questions, Commons & Concerns (QCC), marketing assistants at University Student Commons and Activities interviewed students, faculty and staff of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to find out their thoughts about the renovation of Monroe Park.
QCC S01E03 Transcript:
Brian Donovan: Welcome to Questions, Commons & Concerns at VCU, an initiative by University Student Commons and Activities. Questions, Commons & Concerns is a series where we ask students, faculty and staff about their thoughts regarding current events, hot topics or fun subjects relevant to the University community.
Donovan: This is Brian Donovan, host of Questions, Commons & Concerns. Today’s episode centers around the renovation of Monroe Park and the park’s impact on the surrounding Richmond community, including VCU’s aptly named Monroe Park Campus. Monroe Park was closed in November of 2016 as work began on a $6 million renovation, expected to take between 12 to 18 months. The renovation will include infrastructure upgrades to the park’s underground sewer, gas, water and electrical systems, with the goal of mitigating runoff water, as well as the installation of LED lighting and plants native to the region.
Donovan: We asked students, faculty and staff their thoughts on the renovations of Monroe Park and whether or not they were excited about the reopening.
:: I definitely am looking forward to the renovations that will be happening in Monroe Park. There has been a lot of traffic on campus since the park has been closed, so with the new renovations on the park, more kids will be able to travel through and have more space to do things.
:: I am excited for it to open again. I used to go sit there often in between classes.
:: I’m happy that they’re renovating it. My biggest concerns were — they started removing a lot of the old trees there. And, I was afraid they were going to take a little bit more than necessary, but I’m glad to see that they’ve kept a lot of the old oak trees alive out there, which is what I really think makes the park special. All like, the shade and where everybody can just hang out.
:: I’m looking forward to the renovations, I’ll be glad when they are done.
:: I’m really excited for the Monroe Park Campus because I’m really looking forward to getting out there with my friends and having picnics and throwing the frisbee around and just having an outdoor space that’s reserved. Not only for VCU students, but the Richmond community in general so it’s a really awesome place to meet new people and just relax after a long day in classes.
:: I think it’s good that they closed it to make it better. I think it will be nice.
:: I’m happy that Monroe Park will be lit up, I think it will be a lot safer space for students to study and hang out outside. I know students did that anyways, but I think people will feel a lot safer. Also, I hear there’s going to be WiFi, which is helpful for those of us who don’t have unlimited data on our phones.
:: It’s going to be a great community gathering center and it’s right in the middle of the freshman dorms, which I think will be awesome for the freshman to see what the Richmond community has to offer and how they really want to try to help make things beautiful. It’ll be really good have some green around. And you know before, the park had all these cracks in the road and now it’s going to be super smooth so people can walk and they’re not going to be afraid to fall so yeah, I’m really excited.
:: I feel like it’s been closed for awhile. I’m excited for it to reopen because it’s kinda like, not usable and it’s kinda sad looking at it but I can’t wait for us to use it again. It’s a nice place for us.
:: I think it will be a great place for everyone in the community to utilize.
:: I don’t know too much about it, but I’m looking forward to seeing if it might be a little bit more hospitable for community and VCU students and faculty to hang out. So yeah, I’m looking forward to the unveiling.
:: You know, I’m really happy that they are refurbishing that park. I wasn’t born here but I understand that there has been — there’s a lot of history in that park and it has served a great purpose for a lot of families. So, I would love to see that park reopen.
Donovan: Overall, it sounds like the VCU community is excited about the renovation to Monroe Park. Since 1851, Monroe Park has served the city of Richmond in many ways. From fair grounds in the 1850s, to a military camp and hospital in the 1860s, to hosting some of the city’s earliest baseball games and demonstrations, Richmond’s oldest park has been there for it all. Monroe Park will be receiving a helpful and historically sensitive renovation in hopes of serving the city of Richmond and VCU for decades to come.
Donovan: This has been Questions, Commons & Concerns at VCU, brought to you by University Student Commons and Activities. If you have a question you would like covered, email us at contactUSCA@vcu.edu. Thank you for listening.