Gift from Crain Foundation to provide Centennial Promenade at SMU

Crane Promenade at SMU
Artist's rendering of the eastern border of SMU's main campus. The location of the new Crain Family Centennial Promenade is indicated by the blue box.

A gift from The Crain Foundation will help create a pedestrian walkway linking SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center on the north with the new Residential Commons complex to be built on the southern end of the campus.

The Crain Family Centennial Promenade will add a visible and convenient passageway for the campus community and visitors to sites including the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Moody Coliseum, Collins Executive Education Center and Blanton Student Services Building.

“Crain family members have long-standing ties to SMU, and we are grateful for their vision and generosity in providing this beautiful addition to the campus,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The Crain Family Centennial Promenade will serve as an appropriate capstone to new construction taking place now and into 2015, when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening.

“In addition to the quality of SMU’s programs, the beauty of our campus is a major attraction to prospective students,” Turner added. “The addition of this promenade makes the campus more pedestrian-friendly, an attribute that helps build a sense of community.”

The Crain Foundation previously gave funds for construction of the fountain on the east plaza of the Blanton Student Services Building, which opened in 2003. The Ann Lacy Crain Fountain is the focal point of the intersection of SMU Boulevard and Airline Road.

The Crain Foundation gift counts toward the $750 million goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $610 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign is part of SMU’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

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Dedman Center parking lot closes permanently Jan. 9, 2012

To prepare for construction of SMU’s new student housing, the parking lot at the University’s Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports has closed permanently as of Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. Dedman Center patrons have been requested to park in the Moody, Meadows or Binkley garages.

The Department of Recreational Sports has responded to the parking changes with a new Giddy Up golf cart service program to begin the first day of Spring 2012 classes, Tuesday, Jan. 17. The planned route will run Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. to and from Dedman Center to Mustang Plaza, and from Binkley Avenue to Dedman Center and Loyd All-Sports Center, returning to Dedman Center. The 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Giddy Up route will make the same stops as the morning route and will also include Bishop Boulevard.

For more information as it develops, visit the Recreational Sports homepage at

Green light: SMU-in-Taos housing receives LEED certification

Casita Clements, SMU-in-TaosCasita Clements, a recently constructed student residence at SMU-in-Taos, is the first commercial or institutional building in the Taos area to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council‘s LEED certification for sustainable, environmentally responsible construction.

The 3,457-square-foot adobe structure has been awarded the elite “gold” certification.

Six other student casitas on the Taos campus were recently renovated to meet green building standards and are currently being reviewed by the council for LEED certification. In addition, SMU-in-Taos broke ground July 23 for a faculty casita that will be renovated and expanded to meet LEED standards.

> More on the LEED rating systems

Casita Clements is one of only four university buildings statewide to achieve LEED certification. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed an executive order in 2006 requiring that future state-funded projects larger than 15,000 feet be built to meet LEED “silver” standards, mandating green construction for future projects at state universities.

As a private university, SMU is not bound by that order but undertook the commitment voluntarily.

“I think that is a great distinction to make,” said Julie Walleisa, an Albuquerque architect who chairs the New Mexico chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. “In my mind, it counts more that SMU wasn’t required to do this. And getting gold certification puts you above that requirement for state buildings.”

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program offers four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold and platinum. Candidates are judged on a point system that measures energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The LEED program includes in the same category new construction for commercial and institutional projects ranging from retail buildings to campus residential projects and laboratories.

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SMU to improve property south of Mockingbird Lane

Map of North Central Expressway and Mockingbird LaneSMU has received a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) as part of plans to improve University property south of Mockingbird Lane between Airline Road and North Central Expressway.

The property to be improved will include the site of the former Mrs. Baird’s bakery and adjacent businesses on the south side of Mockingbird. SMU’s plans are for non-commercial campus development that “will result in an attractive enhancement of this space,” says Paul Ward, SMU vice president for legal affairs and government relations.

> FAQ: The Mrs. Baird’s site redevelopment

Under current University plans, the redeveloped property will contain facilities such as tennis courts and a throwing field for SMU athletic activities. The southern tip of the property will house a University data center and an enclosed, partially below-grade electrical substation. Structures and landscaping “will reflect the level of quality characteristic of the SMU campus,” Ward says.

The Dallas City Council approved SMU’s application for an MSD on Aug. 11. At a later date, the city councils for Highland Park and University Park will vote on related resolutions.

Demolition of the site’s buildings is expected to begin in October 2010. Construction of new facilities on the site is expected to begin in 2011.

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Dublin Street and SMU Boulevard to be temporarily closed

2010 campus street closings mapCampus construction activities in the coming months will require the closing of two streets on the east side of the main SMU campus. Dublin Street (indicated in blue on the map at right) from SMU Boulevard to the Airline/Dublin curve will be closed from June 8 to early August 2010. This closure will include the sidewalks on both sides of Dublin.

In addition, SMU Boulevard (indicated in red) will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from Dublin Street to the southbound access road of North Central Expressway from late December or early January through June 2011. This closure also will include the sidewalks on both sides of the street.

An alternative pedestrian route from the East Campus to the Main Campus is being considered. More details on this will be provided later.

Mustang Express service will not be interrupted during construction. However, during the closure of SMU Boulevard, the Mustang Express shuttle route will be temporarily detoured to University Boulevard. More detailed information will be provided as the closing date approaches.

Please observe all warning signs in the construction area.

Tune In: Prothro Hall, in time-lapse photography

SMU’s Perkins School of Theology began a significant new chapter when it dedicated Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, and renovations to Kirby and Selecman Halls, on Sept. 11. Prothro, who embraced and then expanded her family’s support for SMU during a lifetime of philanthropy and leadership, died May 23 in Wichita Falls.

“My mother believed with all her heart in the importance of learning and the power of knowledge,” said daughter Kay Yeager, the former mayor of Wichita Falls. “She decided early in life to maintain a family tradition of enabling others to better themselves through higher education, a legacy both her children and grandchildren are continuing to honor.”

The 20,000-square-foot Prothro Hall is the centerpiece of the revamped theology quad. An environmentally friendly building, the facility is eligible for LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building houses facilities for education and community uses – including a 2,200-square-foot great hall for public events, a refectory for dining services, a student computer lab, preaching lab, classrooms, seminar rooms and two lecture halls.

Click the YouTube screen to watch a time-lapse video of Prothro Hall’s construction.

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