What is being built?
The university is constructing two multi-purpose recreation/practice fields to be used by FIU Wellness and Recreation and FIU Athletics. One of the fields will be natural grass and the other artificial turf. In addition, a small multi-purpose building with public restrooms, water fountains, vending machines, covered seating area, and athletic and recreational storage is proposed. The university will create a faculty-designed wetland on the lawn south of the Nature Preserve.
When is construction starting, and what is the timeline?
The area will be fenced off on February 3, 2017 for construction. The anticipated date of completion is late August 2017. During this time, both the area north of the Nature Preserve and the lawn south of the Nature Preserve will be fenced. The community will still have access to the FIU Organic Garden and the Preserve, and to a limited segment of the jogging path.
Who can use the new multi-purpose recreation/practice fields?
The recreation/practice fields will serve both the recreational needs of students engaged in intramural athletics programs as well as the needs of football and other athletic programs.
Will the jogging path be affected during construction?
The jogging path will be limited during construction. The project includes re-construction of the jogging path around the new multi-purpose practice fields, resulting in a slightly longer distance on the completed jogging path loop.
How much of the Nature Preserve will be affected?
The construction will take approximately the northern 1/3 of the Nature Preserve, including the lake and the lawn area west of the lake. The university will create a faculty-designed wetland on the lawn south of the Nature Preserve. Construction will not affect the endangered pine rockland ecosystem in the center of the Preserve.
Is FIU replacing the lake and area lost?
The university will create a wetland, including a pond on the lawn south of the Nature Preserve. This new area has been designated as part of “The Preserve” in the Campus Master Plan.
Are any trees or plants being saved from the construction area?
Yes. The FIU Office of University Sustainability, the Groundskeeping & Landscape Manager, the project manager, architectural and engineering firm, the construction management firm, and arborist contractors visited the construction area to identify trees that could be transplanted to other areas of the Nature Preserve. The majority of the trees and plants in the northern 1/3 of the Nature Preserve are invasive and are not desirable. Some trees were identified as good candidates for transplanting. These will be root-pruned and transplanted to other areas of the Nature Preserve. Other trees will be replaced with new ones either in the landscape design around the jogging path or in the new wetland area.
What about the animals in the construction area?
Animals will naturally avoid noise, people, and machinery. As the fence goes up and the land is cleared, they will migrate to the other areas of the Nature Preserve. The fence will first be put up on the north, east, and west sides giving them an opportunity to relocate to the central and southern part of the Nature Preserve. In addition, the construction contractor has been made aware of concerns for the wildlife and will be mindful when clearing the area.