In an email sent out earlier this week to Bradley faculty and staff, the university announced that it had acquired the 0.62 acre property where Avanti’s Italian Restaurant once stood at the corner of University and Main streets.
Bradley negotiated to acquire the space for $690,000 –nearly $110,000 below the original listing price – after the property was up for sale in August. University President Stephen Stanifird said that Bradley intends on creating a green space at the “highly visible” intersection and hopes that it will “add appeal to the area, ease pedestrian mobility near the Main and University intersection and will provide needed space for respite and recreation.”
The initiative to improve Bradley’s image is a much appreciated sight and keeping the land in Bradley’s hands ensures that it will benefit the students somehow. However, while more green space could be inviting to students, visitors and families alike, the large sum could have been flexed to the locations Bradley already owns on campus.
Improvement to the dormitories, classroom renovations and more staff for increased class section numbers are just a few ways that money of that amount could have been used differently. Even more scholarships and financial aid would have been sufficient and more likely to attract potential students. The Scout admits that it does not fully know the extent of Bradley’s inner financial workings, but it’s intriguing to think about what could have been done with the money on Bradley’s already-existing campus.
If adding to the green areas on campus is a priority Bradley would like to focus on, the mini-quad between Sisson Hall and the BECC would be a great spot to add onto Bradley’s visual appeal. Easily visible in the lobby of the student center but secluded from Main Street, the nearly sealed off location would be a layup of a choice to add to the scenery on campus. A small bandshell/amphitheater or outdoor seating areas for studying and eating would be sure to be a hit with students.
While the plan for exactly how Bradley intends on renovating the soon-to-be green space is yet to be revealed, it still seems odd to add a green space that is across the street from Bradley’s main campus. Before the university makes a slight improvement to their campus’ size, they should consider making slight improvements to the University that addresses other more pertinent needs.