As part of the Mayor’s Week of Service, Spalding students, faculty and staff will clean up and beautify two Spalding properties in the SoBro neighborhood. On April 16 from 9 a.m. to noon, participants will help transform two vacant lots at 128 and 130 W. College Street into a community garden. On April 17 from 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers will remove debris from a vacant building at 939 S. Ninth Street that sits on 7.3 acres of land recently purchased by Spalding. The building eventually will be renovated and used as an athletic field house.
The community garden project is spearheaded by Dr. Brenda Nash, assistant professor in the School of Professional Psychology. The garden, which will begin with 10 raised beds, will be open to Spalding groups as well as community neighbors who would like to adopt a bed. Nash envisions this project as a way to “enhance and serve our little corner of the community” by greening a vacant lot and providing fresh produce to an area in the city considered to be a food desert.
The athletic fields project is the first step in transforming 7.3 acres of land recently purchased by Spalding into playing fields and a field house for the university’s athletic program. The land, which sits between Kentucky and Breckinridge Streets and 8th and 9th Streets, is a short distance from campus and will expand the university’s ability to host athletic events and visibility in the community. Athletic Director Roger Burkman says, “The addition of these playing fields adjacent to campus will be a tremendous asset not only to athletics and our campus, but also to the downtown corridor.”