The newly renovated Plaza of the Americas was dedicated in a ceremony held on the grounds, Friday, Nov. 17. The renovation is a re-envisioning of the Plaza, which has existed as part of UF’s campus since 1905 and was officially named and dedicated in 1931. Since its inception, it has been the heart of campus for many – a place to study, socialize and relax.
The revitalized plaza includes new lighting throughout, 50 new park benches, nine picnic tables with seating, more than 12,000 ornamental and native shrubs and ferns, and approximately 92,000 clay brick pavers.
The dedication ceremony was held on the southeast corner of the Plaza, where UF President Kent Fuchs and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Charlie Lane honored UF alumni Herb (BA 55) and Catherine Yardley (BSP 56), who donated more than $3 million to help renovate the Plaza.
“A very special thank you to Herb and Catherine Yardley,” Fuchs said. “You’ve been this project’s foremost champions since well before my arrival at UF. We will all benefit from your vision and leadership.”
Fuchs also highlighted the Krishna community for their support and contributions to the project. The renovation includes a street sign indicating Krishna Lunch Lane, where Krishnas have served lunch to the UF community since 1971.
Lane pointed out that the Plaza renovation is serving as a muse for several other civic spaces to be opened on campus, in connection with UF’s Strategic Development Plan.
“Ultimately, these civic spaces will aspire to be comfortable, inviting places that the UF community will want to return to time and time again,” Lane said. “They should be timeless and memorable – even unforgettable. Each one will be unique but altogether part of UF’s campus fabric.”