One thing that always stands out about Samford, both to current and prospective students, is its beautiful campus. Full of trees, space for grass and Georgian-colonial architecture, visitors are often full of positive remarks about Samford’s landscaping aesthetics.
Jeff Poleshek, the assistant vice president of operations, planning and construction, spoke about Samford’s purpose in maintaining a green and nature-filled campus.
“The appearance matters, we want to make sure that people know that we are taking care of what was built for us,” Poleshek said.
He addressed how Samford compares to other college campuses.
“I’ve been in higher education for about 30 years now and have toured […] probably hundreds of college campuses in those times, and a lot of college campuses are beautiful,” Poleshek said. “I think what separates us some is I think the topography, the elevation, the center of the quad core, sort of the flatness of that, but then the undulation north to south, with Shades Crest Mountain in the background, it’s just really nicely sited.”
Though rumors have circulated about how the grass is kept green year-round, Poleshek dispelled any theories of using spray paint or turf in the winter.
“It’s completely real grass, just that entrance has been so important for so long, we basically plant a winter grass, and that’s how it stays so green,” he shared.
Sarah Setzler, a sophomore classics major and member of the Samford Recruitment Team, regularly hears from prospective families how the campus’ beauty draws them in.
“I have heard people say things along the lines of, ‘We just came from this other university, and wow, I had no idea that y’all’s campus was this beautiful,’” Setzler said.
Poleshek also affirmed that the landscaping and architecture of Samford makes an impact on visitors, and he anticipates that they will also see the value in the new construction projects being put up.
“Prospective students will see that not only do we care, but we want to continue improving,” Poleshek said.
Regarding the recent construction that began in December, Poleshek confirmed that the new buildings will fit in with the rest of Samford architecture.
“The two new Greek housing buildings and the freshmen residence hall will be very much in line with our Georgian-colonial style,” he said.
He even added that the team was intentional about potential obstructions of view with the new freshman dorm.
“The middle of that building will be all glass, and you’ll be able to actually walk down the hill from Vail and be able to see through the glass to Shades Crest Mountain […] so that that building, as big as it will be, won’t be an impediment,” Poleshek said.
Although the entrance and center of campus are well maintained and cultivated, some students feel that their areas of residence are somewhat neglected.
Kaylee Bhasin, a junior journalism and mass communications major lived in the student apartments last year, has sometimes felt that that area was overlooked.
“I feel like the student apartments are a forgotten part of campus,” Bhasin said. “The bathroom ceiling was always filling up with water, it was honestly a mess. The landscaping wasn’t great either as, when it rained, it was impossible to walk out of the apartment without sliding. The parking lot was also unfinished and was mostly gravel.”
In the excitement of new buildings and projects along the way, Poleshek stated that they hope to continue to update and improve the current buildings.
“We want to make sure that we’re refreshing those buildings,” Poleshek said. “We want current faculty, staff and students to see that we care.”