Have a seat: University of Alabama students get really nice chairs

Have a seat: University of Alabama students get really nice chairs
Adirondack chairs on UA's campus (Source: University of Alabama)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - University of Alabama students and staff have some additional study spots on campus this Spring.

The UA community can relax, socialize or study in new Adirondack chairs places across campus to give students spaces to hang out while complying with health guidelines.

UA senior leadership worked with the campus design and planning department to place the chairs around campus.

“For the past year, our students have been asked to socially distance, and in some cases quarantine,” said Duane Lamb, associate vice president of facilities and grounds. “Because of this, their normal ability to socialize in our college campus environment was greatly diminished.

“In an effort to help resolve this situation and expand our student population’s ability to socialize effectively, we decided to place Adirondack chairs on campus, and I recommended that we utilize our cabinet makers and carpenters because they are the best in the business.”

The chairs started popping up around campus in November 2020. Each chair is custom-made by UA staff from raw materials and includes the script “A” burned in the back.

“Our team created a sturdier and more cost-effective chair in a very timely manner,” said Lamb. “It would have taken months to have received a similar product of this quality during this time had we ordered them elsewhere.”

And it’s not just new chairs.

Mood lighting, small tables, fire pits and concrete corn hole boards were placed in strategic locations, including the Quad, Ferguson Center lawn and Shelby Quad

“We selected several suitable locations on campus that would provide accessible, safe places for our students,” said Lamb. “The plan was to provide areas for our student population to socialize, interact, communicate, study and grow in a relaxing open-air space.”

Fire pits are operational daily from 5 p.m. to midnight and monitored by UA’s Environmental Health and Safety Department.

Each fire pit includes instructions and a QR code to scan that will send a message to EHS staff to come to that location and light the fire. If additional assistance is needed, you can contact EHS at 205-348-3573.

“We have received countless phone calls from parents wishing to convey their gratitude and appreciation for UA’s commitment to the mental health and physical safety of their students by providing these open-air environments for safe socialization,” said Lamb.

The chairs and spaces are open to all members of the UA community and don’t require reservations.

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