Building Exteriors

Master Planning Campus Amenties - Including Fencing - For Visual Character and Identity

The University of South Alabama in Mobile includes information on fencing in its Campus Master Plan, available online. Concerning fencing and campus boundaries, the university’s master plan states: “The property lines serve as the official boundary for every campus. Roads, sidewalks, vegetation and other attributes define the physical boundaries. Providing consistent amenities along these ‘front’ boundaries is recommended for campus-wide identification. These amenities could include hedges, fencing and signage.

Providing an attractive fence along some of the side yards that are adjacent to roads may be impractical from a monetary standpoint. In this case, it is recommended that a four (4) foot tall black chain link fence with a hedge should run along the property line. Using fences and hedges not only helps define the campus in an aesthetically pleasing manner, but also helps in directing pedestrian access to desired locations. Rows of identical trees that are proposed on the Campus Master Plan map can also further reinforce the university’s boundaries.

Another method of creating identification as well as a sense of arrival is the establishment of portals at the main entries of the campus.

It is recommended to create larger monumental portals at several of the primary entrances. Smaller, less prominent portals can be placed at secondary entrances. These portals should be of brick and cut stone, which can stand up to the test of time physically and aesthetically and also are materials present in much of existing campus architecture. Signage, hardscaping and landscaping should be part of the design for these portals. The portals also should engage the proposed fencing along the campus boundaries. This can be accomplished by providing brick and cut stone columns periodically along the fence.”

This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of College Planning & Management.

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