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Ignatius to get nicer home

February 16th, 2012

The John Carroll trademark statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, more commonly known as “St. Iggy,” will soon be surrounded by quite the array of scenery.

Currently, the statue of St. Ignatius stands in front of St. Francis Chapel, right in the heart of campus. The statue, given to JCU’s campus on the 35th reunion year of the class of 1962, has been a landmark since it became one of the most recognizable features of campus in 1997.

Carol Dietz, associate vice president of facilities, explained that the construction for a brick paver walkway has been in discussion amongst the Office of Alumni Relations and the facilities department for over a year.

“The St. Ignatius Plaza was identified as a good location in the fall. Berj Shakarian, one of the facilities project managers, developed the initial concept and has been working with Advancement to complete the design.”

Construction and design plans include an amount of symbolism to JCU’s and St. Ignatius’ ties to religious values. The plans consist of a staggered cross design layout symbolizing the suffering of Christ for humanity, a round table and stools for reflection and reading, three-dimensional letters at the foundation promenade depicting the Jesuits’ motto: “Ad majorem Dei gloriam” (“For the greater glory of God”) and a social area with a grouping of four benches illustrating the four vows of St. Ignatius: poverty, chastity and obedience to Christ and the pope.

To pull together the new look of the plaza, the most-discussed update is the plan for a fountain.  It is expected to consist of a sculptural trough allowing water to flow in thin sheets. This will represent the wellspring of life.

Shakarian, the project manager, has been in charge of the update.

“He has been working with a fountain consultant. The project has not been bid yet, so we don’t know who the contractor(s) will be,” Dietz explained.

As of right now, the kickoff of the project will depend on donations from staff, students, faculty, alumni and friends provided by the purchasing of nameplate bricks.

Purchased bricks will make up the three sidewalks that form the triangular shape of the design, and the area will be rebuilt to incorporate the pavers.

These bricks are now on sale, and all of the proceeds will go to the funding of the project.

The 4×8 inch bricks will cost $125 and come in one of three different colors.

The 16×16 inch pavers will cost $1,886 each.

“The construction timetable is highly dependent on fundraising. Hopefully, construction will take place in the spring and summer of 2013,” Dietz said.

“Money raised beyond the cost of the project will benefit programs in Campus Ministry.”

Students seem very excited for the project to begin.

Senior Lauren Halladay said, “I think the new St. Ignatius Plaza is going to add a great deal to campus. Not only does it seem like a gathering place, but I think that it has the ability to tie together John Carroll students, past, present and future.”

Junior Marisa Rodriguez agreed. “I’m really excited to see the finished product and to hope the future students of JCU will appreciate Ignatius and his values that he brings to our school,” she said.

More information about the project and purchasing a brick can be found at http://sites.jcu.edu/plaza/pages.