Members of SGA’s Environmental and Sustainability Committee oppose plans to build a new engineering facility at Sherlock Park, because they say it is one of the largest and most popular green spaces on campus.
Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin within the next 18 months just west of Prescott Hall on the east end of Sherlock Park, President Phil Oldham said. It is expected to be 100,000 square feet and the estimated budget is $55 million.
“I think the addition of this engineering building is going to progress the education of all students,” SGA President Brad Sells said. “While Sherlock Park is definitely sentimental to Tennessee Tech, I know that Tech will do everything it can to preserve the history and richness it has provided for years. That place will always be a special place for Tech students.”
ESC members passed The Protect Campus Green Space Act of 2019 to preserve green space on campus, specifically Sherlock Park, said committee chairman Caroline Curtis.
The bill states all greenery removed must be replaced with an equivalent amount.
“I am disappointed that such a large amount of valued, historical green space will be removed from campus to build a new engineering building,” Curtis said. “However, in place of Sherlock Park, there will be mitigated green space provided in front of the new lab science building, opening fall 2020.”
She said she understands the importance of investing in new opportunities for students, but is concerned about the effect construction has on the environment.
“It is important as students to recycle all available renewable materials, pick up litter around campus, educate friends and family, and use our voices to urge construction efforts to end as quickly as possible,” Curtis said.