The restoration of Middle Path with stabilized gravel is a three-year project intended to address problems with universal accessibility and maintenance while retaining the look, feel and sound of the iconic walkway.
The project was launched on the north part of the path, from Brooklyn Street to Bexley Hall, in 2014. In addition to curb work and drainage improvements, 47 trees considered to be under stress, damaged and ailing were removed. The College will plant 49 new trees, ranging in height from 12 to 15 feet, along that portion of the path in the spring of 2015.
The second phase of the restoration project begins in May 2015, on South Campus, starting just south of the Middle Path gates and running to the steps of Old Kenyon. One tree is expected to be removed during the project and four new trees will be planted in that part of the campus.
The third phase, including the gates and moving north to Brooklyn Street in the center of the village of Gambier, is planned for 2016.
Middle Path was established in 1842 from Old Kenyon to Wiggin Street and extended to Bexley Hall in 1860. The Kenyon College Board of Trustees approved the Middle Path restoration that was proposed by the College Operating Division. The project was recommended in the landscape master plan prepared by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. The firm was hired by the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the board of trustees, and the consultants worked with a Kenyon steering committee that includes 13 people representing the administration, alumni, faculty, staff and the village of Gambier. The Gambier Village Council approved the project.