Under Construction: The Hammond Plaza

By Darcelis Peguero

Under construction Hammond Plaza
The future design of the plaza.

Do you like the progress of landscapes that’s happening around the campus? Are you wondering about an update on the recent construction? Well, here’s the news for you! There will be a new hangout spot for gathering, studying, setting up special events, or simply socializing.
The area between the Thompson building, Miller building, and the library has been under construction for several months due to renovation and redesigning. Many of you probably already knew this, as we were not able to take our short cut between Miller and Thompson like we were used to. Eventually, with a good amount of patience, it will all be worth it. This renovated space will be known as the Hammond Plaza, with a similar atmosphere as main quad. It will be fully accessible in Spring 2016.
The executive director of the Capital Planning Program, William Barletta, says that “Thompson Hall use to be the main entrance of the University”… “There was a Residential building named Palmer Hall but was demolished in 1970 for the Hammond building.” The history behind this area goes way back to the 1800’s when the Thompson building used to be the main entrance for the campus. According to the Fitchburg State website, under the history of the University, “Principal John G. Thompson, aided by a teaching staff of three, implemented a two-year teacher training program for women that had 46 participants.”
There’s a common design that can be noticed around the campus that was designed by the landscape architect Andrew Leonard. Leonard was the one who designed the main quad, the extended quad, and the whole platform on Highland Avenue and has even designed some areas for the city. The similar layout throughout the school carries the same vision.
For the Hammond Plaza, there is no exact date yet because as Barletta said it is “weather dependent“ but it is expected be available around spring semester of 2016. The University wanted to it to be a natural gathering spot and for it to be very inviting. While the construction in the Hammond plaza is going on, the renovated sidewalk on Pearl Street next to the Hammond building will be to be open within these next few days.
Barletta is excited for the new addition to the Fitchburg State campus and states, “It wasn’t as useful as it could be used, it was more of a cut through for a lot of people, it’s was just a passage way,” but now with a new vision and welcoming change, there will be an opportunity for gatherings and relaxation, offering “the sense of a community” as Barletta said. The University wants the Hammond Plaza to provide a more inviting feel for the University.