Lane Park: A New Door to the University
WRITTEN BY CORDIA LUCAS
PHOTOGRAPHS BY M.G. ELLIS
THE MOUNTAINEER COMMUNITY always comes together to help support West Virginia University. In late 2009, WVU alumni and friends merged creativity with their love of the University to begin construction of a beautiful gathering place for students, parents, alumni, and other visitors to enjoy. The result: a beautiful green space on campus known as Raymond J. Lane Park. Lane Park, named in honor of WVU alumnus and donor Ray Lane, features grass lawns, walkways, a pedestrian bridge, and streams flowing into a pond. In addition, the park has benches where visitors can enjoy native West Virginia plants and views of campus. “This park truly complements The Erickson Alumni Center and is a wonderful addition to our entire campus. We are very fortunate to have the support of WVU’s Board of Governors and alumnus Ray Lane, who understood the importance of enhancing this green space so that everyone could have a place to go to play ball, read, or just sit and enjoy the scenery,” said Stephen L. Douglas, president and CEO, WVU Alumni Association. Woolpert Inc., an organization nationally recognized for its design of park and recreational facilities, constructed the park, which is located just off of University Avenue and Van Voorhis Road near the entrance to The Erickson Alumni Center.
West Virginia University Alumni Magazine
“I was very honored when my firm was selected to provide the design for the park,” said Andrew Pack, senior associate for Woolpert and a 1988 graduate of the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design. “As an alumnus, I was proud to provide a design and contribute back to the University where I gained my skills as a landscape architect.” He added, “When I learned about the opportunity to design a great outdoor space for the new Erickson Alumni Center, I knew it was an opportunity not only to enhance the foreground of the facility but to transform the existing open space into a lasting park for use by the community, students, and visiting alumni.” Kenn Bullock, vice president of Woolpert and a 1975 graduate of WVU, explained that Lane Park also allowed the design team to develop a new entryway to the WVU campus. “The University has a lot of entrances, and you didn’t know where the front door to WVU really was. Now, Lane Park is that front door,” Bullock said. “With the beautiful Alumni Center and now a gorgeous park, this setting gives the ‘wow’ impression of coming into the University.” Upon entering Lane Park you are greeted by a 14-foot-tall bronze statue designed and crafted by WVU alumnus Burl Jones, whose
WVU Alumni Magazine / Fall 2010