Dear Faculty, Students, Parents and Friends of Mount de Sales:
Here is an update on the campus hardscape and landscaping as we wind up Phase 1 of our plan:
de Sales Drive (formally known as Rose Place)
- We have a large historical marker that in April will be placed on the brick pier under the cast stone Mount de Sales sign. The marker will be installed by the Historic Macon Foundation in co-operation with Mount de Sales and commemorates the history of the Sisters in Macon who started the public school system and founded Mount de Sales Academy.
- The upper end of de Sales drive at the entrance to the apartments was recently landscaped and still more planting will be done in this area.
- The cross walk and ramp to the prayer garden was installed temporally but since then we have decided we can install them permanently and still leave complete access for Mr. Harris to his house. The steps are being removed and will be replaced with a permanent ramp with a curb on one side and a temporary low wall on the upper side. This will allow us to bring the ground on both sides of the wall to its final elevation and install trees on either side of the serpentine ramp. Users of the ramp will then have a nice walk under the trees from the parking lot into the school area.
- The arborvitae behind the prayer garden were removed, the ground level was raised on one end and more arborvitae were added to thicken the enclosure to the prayer garden.
- The area at the side of Mercy Hall will be cleaned up and grassed. Once Mr. Harris decides to vacate his house, the remainder of what was Rose Place will be removed, the ground filled in and the final landscaping will be done.
- Jeff Dadisman’s Computer Aided Design (CAD) class designed a vegetable / cutting garden to be located between Cavalier Hall and Columbus Street and we will be implementing this design. Thank you students for your great ideas. This will activate a part of the campus that previously was not used and give good visibility to the varied learning opportunities of the school.
- Cavalier Hall is the oldest building on campus and the only original building remaining. We need to celebrate it. Therefore we will be adding new half glass, Victorian style doors to the entrance and later we will add a copper canopy with iron brackets over those doors. We will reinstall windows where they were previously bricked up and we will paint the brick to approximate the original brick color. Currently all the abandoned electrical wiring is being removed and the original electrical closet will be removed to make the classroom larger.
- Additional planting has been added around the outside and some more will be added once the garden has been completed.
- We are adding additional storage under the roof between Cavalier Hall and St. Joseph Hall.
- Work is winding up on the new campus store in Trinity House. The kitchen will be roughed in but cabinets and finishes will have to wait for Phase 2. If anyone wants to build the cabinets for the kitchen we will assist. Otherwise it may be a year or so before this work can take place.
- Phase 1 of the deck outside Trinity house is complete. Phase 2 will add a very nice gable entrance to cover the doors and make the rear entrance to the building similar to the front entrance. More walkways will be added between Cuddy Hall and Trinity House and then connect with the cross walk to McAuley Hall. When done and landscaped, the area around Trinity House will become a fine gathering space for various campus activities especially things like family and alum cookouts and other small social events.
- We added gates to the storage area under the covered walk to Sheridan Hall.
- We will be landscaping the side next to the parking lot and the areas around the transformer and the Columbus Street entrance.
General Areas Around the Campus
- Chad McCaskill of Evergreen Landscaping is replacing dead and sick plant material and raising several trees that were planted too low. We very much appreciate Chad’s work.
- This April we will have a parent workday to add a few thousand Asian jasmine ground cover plants around the campus. These plants cost almost $1 to buy and would cost $1 to plant so the volunteer work will be a real cost saver. We will be planting them closer together than normal and this will make the campus look better quicker. This is only possible because of all the free labor. Thanks to all who will participate.
Wish list for Phase 2 or possibly a Phase 3
We have several things on our wish list. The timing on each of these is dependent on funding.
- Add the gabled entrance to the rear of Trinity House.
- Finish the kitchen of Trinity House
- Rework the upstairs of Trinity House to be a residence for visiting faculty from our sister schools in France and Spain.
- Renovate all the classrooms in Mercy Hall and St. Joseph Hall per the model in Mercy Hall 5.
- Renovate the floor and ceilings in the corridors of Mercy Hall and St. Joseph Hall
- Install a brick veneer at the exterior aluminum window walls at Mercy Hall and St. Joseph Hall up to the window sill and then paint the window above to match Cuddy Hall.
- Install new blinds in all Mercy Hall and St. Joseph Hall to match the ones in Cuddy Hall. This will improve the lighting inside and the look of the school on the outside.
- Install a fitness course between Cuddy Hall and Trinity House.
- Paint the exterior of Cavalier hall and finish replacing all the windows on the Columbus Street side.
When Mr. Harris decides to vacate his home, (and we hope he stays there a long time as he is a very fine gentleman) we will remove at least part of the house and all of the wall between his house and the school. We will close off his driveway and install earth fill to establish a gentle grade between the current parking lot and Mercy Hall. This will open up the campus a good bit more for everyone’s enjoyment.
To date we have spent $425,000 on plant material. This does not include the extensive hardscape or work in Mercy Hall and Trinity House. This plant material was selected by our designers, Todd Fuller and Jennifer Teasley of HGOR of Atlanta, for the long term and while we tried to get as immediately impactful material as could be transplanted, we were more looking out for the long term beauty. Over the next few years as these plants mature, overcome the transplant shock and get happy, our campus will get prettier and prettier. (It will take several decades for the live oak at Student Plaza to cover from deSales Hall to Mercy Hall but those who will be shaded under that canopy will appreciate Todd’s forethought. In the meantime we will fertilize and take good care of all the plant material.)
A special thanks to the administration, Pat Wallace and his crew for maintaining a new and large amount of landscaping. Living and learning surrounded by the beauty of the campus is part of the Mount de Sales experience and we all need to carefully nurture what we have.
Thank you for your patience in all this work.
Chris R. Sheridan, Jr., P.E
Chairman of the Board