Oct. 18, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
While it's hard not to notice the aesthetic changes taking place north of campus at the corner of Northwestern and Lindberg, there are also functional changes in progress that will benefit both Purdue and the city of West Lafayette.
For years, the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex has employed a water filtration system that filters water through its wetlands and into its irrigation pond for reuse on the golf courses. Water for the system was collected through natural processes, such as rainfall, as well as from various sites in the general area, such as Lindberg Road.
Beginning in 2006, officials began to notice drainage problems in the lot across Northwestern from the Kampen Course, formerly the site of the Family Inn. Water from the lot tended to run east and back up in the residential neighborhood adjacent to the lot. Any future development of the lot would be contingent upon meeting city drainage requirements.
The solution to the problem came in the form of a regional drainage system that ties into the existing filtration system at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. According to BBGC superintendent Jim Scott, it made sense for the system to bring the water under Northwestern and filter it through the course's wetlands.
"This project is a win-win for Purdue, the athletic department and the city of West Lafayette," Scott said. "It's great to be able to work together to filter and reuse the excess water, and not just discharge it to sewage treatment or the Wabash River."
With the drainage problem on its way to being solved, both Purdue and city officials also aimed to take advantage of an opportunity to improve upon an area near campus that was largely devoid of landscaping.
"For years, the corner of Northwestern and Lindberg has almost looked forgotten," Dave Buck, West Lafayette city engineer, said. "We wanted to give that corner a purpose, to help urbanize the area. It's important to us to make it look more welcoming for people coming into campus."
Among the enhancements planned for the area are additional wetland plantings that will provide aesthetic value while also aiding in the filtration process, additional tree plantings, an extension of the Cattail Trail and the construction of landscaped spectator mounds for the BBGC's Kampen Course.
"This project is really going to enhance that corner from an environmental standpoint, but it will also clean it up and make it look great," Scott said. "That area is part of the corridor that leads into campus, and it's something the Purdue community will be proud of."
According to Buck, the project will move in three phases. Phase one is under way and will be completed this fall with the sowing of grass seed and planting of trees, while the second phase will consist of wetland plantings and will commence in the spring.
Phase three of the project, which will feature the Cattail Trail extension and an urbanizing of the area, does not have an estimated time of completion. The final phase will benefit from federal grant money that will be available in 2013.
With both functional and aesthetic initiatives under way at the corner of Northwestern and Lindberg, passersby can get an early glimpse of an area that will benefit future generations of Boilermakers.