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Shove Chapel Accessibility Improvements, Landscaping, and Tree Removal

A Memo to the Campus Community:

As part of the Long Range Development Plan, the college is making some changes to the grounds around Shove Chapel.

In order to make Shove Chapel more accessible for the disabled and people with limited mobility, as well as wedding and funeral participants, we are installing a driveway/drop-off plaza on the Nevada Avenue side of Shove. We will also be making safety improvements to the north and south crosswalks on Nevada. 


View or print a PDF version of the rendering shown above.

As part of these improvements, a few existing trees will need to be removed. For example, one tree is being removed because its branches are rubbing on the roof of the chapel, risking damage over time. Another tree is slated for removal because it has bark and insect damage. However, trees removed for safety and health reasons will be replaced with new trees to enhance our campus for decades to come. Significant care and thought has been given to retain as many mature trees as possible. If you are interested in learning which trees will be affected and the reasons for removal, please see the information below. Tree removal is scheduled to begin the week of April 9, 2012.

These changes to the grounds are consistent with the college’s LRDP and Campus Walkway Master Plan. The Colorado College Design Review Board reviewed the conceptual plans and recommended moving forward with design and implementation for the Shove east site redevelopment and Nevada driveway and crosswalks in October 2011.  

Another phase of the Shove site redevelopment will involve changes to the landscaping on the north and south sides of the building. This phase of the project will not take place until Summer 2013. At the October 2011 DRB meeting, landscaping ideas were put forward, and specific plans will pass though the DRB. In keeping with the DRB’s recommendation, the design of the final landscape plan will be a collaborative process, open to campus stakeholders. The chapel, Center for Service and Learning, and facilities grounds staff will be involved in the collaboration.

The intent of the sidewalk and landscape design for Shove Chapel is to preserve the character of the campus landscape while improving accessibility to this landmark building. I hope you share our excitement about these much-needed and anticipated improvements. We are available to answer questions, listen to any concerns, and make note of suggestions you may have about the project. 

George Eckhardt
Campus Planner
Facilities Services

Bruce Coriell
Chaplain’s Office, Shove Chapel

The following information was provided by Tim Siebert, principal, N.E.S. Inc., the Colorado Springs landscape architecture firm for the project.

Design Intentions and Impact on Trees

The Shove Chapel driveways/walkways and drop-off design worked around the majority of significant trees in the proximity to the building, but a few trees are being impacted.  A cluster of juniper trees between Olin Hall and Shove Chapel will be removed.  Several of the trees are located within the drop-off and walkway area and because they are planted so close together, selective removal is not advised.  An existing shade tree, also planned for removal, is also located immediately within the drop-off area.  A tall fir tree at the northeast corner of the chapel has been significantly pruned over time to limit its damage to the building.  Its limbs that remain are at the top of a very long trunk and rub along the slate roof, risking damage to the chapel. For these reasons, it is proposed for removal. However, five other fir trees will remain along the north side of the chapel.  Another small tree is proposed for removal because it has bark and insect damage.

A new landscape design that will engage faculty, staff, and students is beginning that will look to enhance the area around the base of the building with themed gardens. Additional trees are contemplated to provide color and interest, shade for outdoor areas, and to reinforce the importance Shove Chapel.  A preliminary design is currently underway and will be presented to the Design Review Board in May. It contemplates three to six new flowering ornamental trees and three to four new shade trees.  Several new areas for shrubs and perennials will also allow for a dramatic improvement of the gravel areas adjacent to the chapel.  A final design will be prepared for presentation in September.