West End Neighborhood
The re-imagination of the West End neighborhood, which currently houses Carmichael Towers, Greek Row and West Side Row, is a component of FutureVU with the goals of enhancing the neighborhood, giving it a more park-like feel, as well as creating a positive community atmosphere in the neighborhood. Consistent with the Academic Strategic Plan’s aim to enhance the undergraduate residential experience, three new residential colleges will be constructed along West End Avenue, between 23rd and 25th Avenues. The construction involved with the new residential colleges provides a unique opportunity to consider the West End neighborhood holistically. The university will have the opportunity to consider how a variety of student groups will be engaged within the neighborhood, including IFC, Panhellenic, NPHC, Multicultural Leadership Council, and other student groups. The end goal is to beautify, enhance and make more inclusive and accessible the West End neighborhood.
The university has established a West End neighborhood newsletter to be distributed to interested community members regularly. To view construction update images, past newsletters, and/or if you have interest in receiving the newsletter, please click here.
*The first phase of the West End neighborhood efforts, which includes setting up infrastructure for the new residential colleges and burying overhead utilities, began mid-December and will continue through early summer 2018. Milestones are subject to change and will be updated monthly.
- December 18: Parking lots close (lots 69, 69A, 70) and alley closes between 25th Avenue and Carmichael Towers 3 and 4. Site fencing is set (see fence image below).
- December: Digging for ductbank that will house underground utilities begins in backyards of ATO, KKG, SN and PBP. Houses were informed prior and will be updated as work progresses.
- January 8: First day of spring semester classes.
- January: Begin process to meet with student groups (NPHC, MPS, ZTA, LCA, DKE, KS) regarding future house construction.
- February 12: Blasting to commence. Will occur at scheduled times, during weekdays, between 1 and 4 times daily (see blasting details below).
- February 28: Complete installation of ductbank, which will house underground utilities.
- March 3-11: Spring break holiday for students.
- Early March: Begin moving fiber and electric into ductbank.
- End of March: Complete move of fiber and power underground. Blasting complete.
- April 23: Undergraduate classes end for students.
- April 24-May 1: Undergraduate final exams. Drilling schedule to be adjusted for final exam period.
- Drilling to be complete.
- Will begin pouring concrete slabs and building will begin to come out of ground.
CONSTRUCTION SITE / SITE FENCING DIAGRAM
- Blasting is a one-time vibration. There will be 3 key blast times/day (9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.). Each blast time will have the following activities leading up to it:
- Warning sound 5 minutes prior
- Stopping of pedestrian traffic 3 minutes prior
- Stopping of vehicular traffic 1 minute prior
- All clear horn 1 minute after blast
Spring 2017 Student Feedback
A series of focus groups were held in March and April of 2017 as a starting point to incorporating community thoughts and ideas into the planning efforts. Focus groups discussed the following key questions:
- Picture the ideal neighborhood: What does it look like? How would you describe it?
- What would you change about the current neighborhood?
- How do we enhance and beautify the area?
- In what ways can the West End neighborhood be enhanced to promote inclusivity and become a more welcoming space for the entire VU community?
High-Level Overview of Feedback
- Strong support for the area being more inclusive, with additional houses and/or programming space for NPHC and other student groups. Space should be home to everyone.
- Enthusiastic about creating more green space, taking electrical underground, and improving the aesthetics of the area.
- While the loss of parking is a significant change, understand that the need for cars in the future won’t be as significant.
- Suggested more shuttles and ride shares to help students get around campus and into the community. Need to have options for students with internships, etc.
- Would like support for improving their houses. There is a big discrepancy in how some of the houses look vs. others.
Potential Feature Options
Draft Plans & Precedents
The West End neighborhood, when fully realized, will be an example of the value Vanderbilt places on extending learning beyond the classroom. The expansion of the residential college model is an important pillar of the university’s Academic Strategic Plan. When complete, the design for the West End neighborhood includes residential colleges, a beautification project to give the area a park like feel and a significant transformation of Greek Row within its existing footprint.
The newest residential colleges would replace Carmichael Towers and, based on the current design plan, will extend into the existing Greek Row neighborhood. The university plans to work with the organizations located in the proposed footprint, Delta Kappa Epsilon and Zeta Tau Alpha, as well as with other organizations in the area wherein the university would utilize sites to build new homes and spaces. This includes Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Design planning would also include the university building a new multipurpose space in the area that can be used by Multicultural Leadership Council groups and other student organizations. The multipurpose space is intended to make the neighborhood more inclusive as it provides the opportunity for a variety of student organizations without exclusive-use spaces, including Greek organizations, to have a place to host events in the neighborhood.
The image bellows reflects a potential campus view aiming for completion in 2023.
Potential Campus View - This is a draft, simplified potential view of the neighborhood. As we continue through the design process, elements may adapt. We will update images as designs are enhanced.
(Sites labeled H1-H6 will accommodate the following organizations: LCA, MPS, KS, DKE, ZTA and NPHC. The above reflects a preliminary design, and will be enhanced as we continue through this process. An updated image with exact building locations, additional landscape features and building designs will be added to the site in the future.)
Transformation of the West End neighborhood is intended to be consistent with the ideals of FutureVU. The intent/plan is to beautify the area into a park like setting with tree-lined pathways and streets to separate pedestrians and cars; roads limited, where possible, to access for emergency purposes; electrical lines not visible (underground); pedestrian and biking friendly zones; building community and embracing diversity and inclusion through space; and more open spaces for community activities and events. Long-term parking solutions for the area are being addressed through a process that involves the broader campus community. The university is developing a comprehensive transportation strategy that will address parking needs, look at a variety of enhancements to improve the accessibility of campus, and additional transportation options, such as expanded shuttle service, a transportation hub, improved biking infrastructure and Uber/Lyft drop-off points.
The images below reflect potential before and after views of campus.
Before and After - 24th Avenue
Before and After - Kensington Avenue
Before and After - Alley / Green
Before and After - West Side Row
Future View of Residential Colleges along West End Avenue
Conduit Feeders for Future Service
Ductbank Critical Power Conduit
Tarpley Building Removal