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University Peace Plaza construction to be completed this fall

| Sunday, August 28, 2022

The Our Lady of the Lake World Peace Plaza is in its final stages of construction and will be finished this fall according to university architect Doug Marsh. 

“It’s a place that we hope will become another of our many sacred places here on campus,” Marsh said. “I hope that [it will be] inspiring to all that come and enjoy the plaza and [its] beautiful surroundings.” 

March noted the plaza is at the intersection of foot traffic including walkers, runners and others who enjoy the paths around St. Mary’s Lake

“It’s a place of respite and refuge from busy days and busy campus life that will be attractive to 

everyone,” Marsh said. “It’s a great vantage point, so we felt that it was the best location to have a place like this where [people] can stop and sit on the benches and enjoy the natural surroundings.” 

Sophomore Catie Berkemeier noted the new plaza will increase the natural appeal of the lake.

“It will add to the scenery of the lake and be something people can appreciate as they look out at campus,” she said.   

Marsh said the idea for the Our Lady of the Lake World Peace Plaza was born from the Prayer for World Peace. 

The prayer was inspired by William Pulte, master builder and community member, who passed away in Mar. 2018. 

This prayer will be the focal point of the plaza, Marsh said. The prayer will be displayed on a granite disk in six different languages with a fountain of water flowing over it. There will also be a landscaping installation with plants and trees. 

Construction began in the summer of 2021 and the project has been underway for a year. 

“The site has a lot of challenges with the kind of soil that is available, so we had to take many measures to mitigate that, and it took a little longer than we had hoped, but the result will be worthwhile,” Marsh said. 

In addition to the Our Lady of the Lake World Peace Plaza, three other construction projects are happening on campus. 

“One is the continuation of the McCourtney Hall research facility,”  Marsh said. “To the north of that adjacent to Johnson Family Hall and across the quad from Dunne Hall is a new residence hall for men that will open in Aug. 2024. The other major construction on campus is the Raclin Murphey Museum of Art that will open in late 2023.” 

Caroline Collins

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About Caroline Collins

Caroline is a sophomore environmental science major and journalism, ethics & democracy minor. She loves running, listening to Taylor Swift and not using the Oxford comma.

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