Kingston Green Space (image courtesy: Kaitlyn Nichols)

The Kingston Green Space is getting some new upgrades this year with construction being active for almost 2 weeks.

Heather Lorenz, the Vice President of Student Affairs and Campus Initiatives, and a SNHU Faculty member for 27 years, shares how it’s been planned.

“Last year when we knew Stark Hall was coming down, we asked the student body about potential plans for the space,” Lorenz said.

Heather partnered with the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Residence Life staff in Kingston Hall to gather student feedback.

“All of the feedback led to students saying they wanted an experience that organically brings people together,” said Lorenz. “The result is a combination of the ideas voiced, since students wanted somewhere outside to sit whether it be a swing, bench, or hammock.”

Not being able to use laptops in the Green Space was a concern voiced by students as well.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SNHU was the only school in New England that closed. The other schools during the shutdown created outdoor living rooms.

“I asked these schools what made [the outdoor living rooms] so popular, and they said it was hammocks,” shared Lorenz.

Ultimately, the Office of Student Affairs and Campus Initiatives along with the SGA decided on a space with turf, Adirondack chairs, and hammocks of two different sizes. The largest area, with all of these features, is being built right near the Green Center. The area will have turf along with trees installed for additional shade and easier usage of laptops. There is a smaller area with one hammock on the corner of the space towards SETA.

Paige McNamara (’24), president of the SGA, shared more about the process.

“There are a lot of hoops in terms of irrigation and water lines. We have to loop facilities in on everything in terms of mowing and plowing,” said McNamara, “You can’t just go out and build things, but as SGA we’re not affiliated with the university, so we were able to avoid some red tape and find a contractor that we can work with well. The contractor also handled some paperwork like the building permit.”

The current construction aims to finish in October, with the installation of custom SNHU-colored hammocks being installed in the spring. In Phase II of the project, the SGA is looking to install a pavilion or similar outdoor structure. Some ideas that didn’t make it were a swirly side, a playground, a barbecue, an outdoor skating rink, and a putting green.

The original research said pavilion but we didn’t have the budget,” said McNamara.