Patio replaces Hirt arch


Melanie Todd, Staff writer

The arch in front of the Audrey Hirt Academic Center mysteriously disappeared. The administration has big renovation plans for the space over the summer.

“The arch was fairly unsightly. It didn’t bring a lot to the building. It was at an awkward angle and plain,” Forest Davis, head of maintenance, said.

President Michael Victor decided the $7.5 million building, built in 2002, needed an upgrade.

“Victor wanted something a little more student friendly,” Davis said.
Over the summer maintenance will be turning the space into a patio area for students.

“We aren’t sure just yet but we’re looking at flagstone concrete that makes the building look more ‘Mercyhurst.’ We also want to add some sort of seating for students to use before and after class,” Davis said.
Students seem to be taking a liking to the idea.

“I think that it would be a good idea. There is one at the Intel building and I think adding something special for Hirt will add a space for other majors and students who spend all day in Hirt,” Cassie Kern, a junior Early Childhood Education Major said.

Winter took its toll on the concrete by the arch, the sidewalks, and even the grass. The necessary repairs made it the ideal time to remodel the space.

“We’ll fill in the ruts on the sides of the sidewalks with pavers as well,” Davis said.

Hopefully, extending the sidewalks with the pavers will help prevent the ruts in future years.

The entire project will come from a couple different summer budgets Mercyhurst has set. The estimate for the project will be available once materials are finalized. Mercyhurst maintenance staff will be completing the renovation.