The University Record, September 10, 1997

Almost there

Renovations on the Diag are nearing completion and the entire area is now open for use. The final touches should be completed this fall. Photo by Bob Kalmbach

By Jane R. Elgass

The $1.3 million renovation of the Diag that took place during the summer for the most part has been completed, and the entire area is now open for use.

Yet to come is re-installation of the bronze "M" in the plaza in front of the Graduate Library. A 13-foot-square around the "M" will feature granite paving. According to Julianne Chard, Diag project engineer, the granite for that area will be delivered this month, with one piece sent out for laser cutting so the "M" can be placed in it. For the time being, brick paving stones cover the area.

This is the Diag's first major overhaul since it began taking on its current shape in the 1840s when University buildings were constructed around the open area.

A number of things were accomplished during the renovation of the Diag that began last May.

Features of the renovation include:


Replacement of cracked and crumbling sidewalks caused by age, heavy use and poor drainage in a way that will forestall future deterioration, and the addition of two new sidewalks following the paths created over the years by the Diag's many users.


Installation of special drainage systems to reduce standing water and prevent damage to root systems of the trees.


New lighting fixtures throughout the Diag and extending north to Ingalls Mall.


Electrical outlets at the base of the Graduate Library stairs for groups using the area for rallies and presentations.


New and more benches for studying and relaxing.