The Grounds Improvement Program is a funding program for projects and programs that promote improvements to the University’s environs that benefit the general University community. As the Lawn served as the focus of community life in Jefferson’s Academical Village, the larger University landscape provides the connective tissue that links individual schools, departments and buildings, providing opportunities for circulation, community gatherings, events and recreation. As such, the quality of the outdoor environment reflects the overall vitality of the institution. The Grounds Improvement Fund provides a mechanism to ensure that this infrastructure system will be developed as necessary to improve its appearance, functionality, and safety and to promote conservation in both land use and resources utilization. This system includes the conventional physical infrastructure, other than utilities, that are part of a typical city or county public works program, including streets, paths, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, hardscape and landscape, lighting, signs, site furnishings, and public art. The funding program covers the construction as well as the advance design efforts that support these items. General improvements to the grounds under this program will include major rehabilitation/improvements of such elements as sidewalks and plantings, but excludes items of normal, deferred or planned maintenance. The Grounds Improvement Fund is intended to supplement, not replace, the landscape budget associated with projects funded by the six-year capital program, maintenance reserve, and utilities projects. Once a year, a call for project ideas is sent to deans and department heads. The submitted projects are evaluated and ranked by a committee. A project list totaling $1 million in cost is then put forward to the Executive Review Committee and the University’s President for approval.
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