Two Bars to Open on Route 1

Thirsty TurtleThe Diamondback reported yesterday about two bars opening this fall on Route 1 in downtown College Park. The Mark will be a lounge serving tapas with a sophisticated atmosphere, and the Thirsty Turtle is a large bar with a live music venue upstairs.

When we stopped in the Thirsty Turtle today the bar manager said he was hoping finish work would be completed by next Friday, but noted they had a lot to do before opening day.

> Diamondback: “Double Vision: Two New Bars Hit Route 1

Facilities: Pave This Path

Dirt Path

In general we think the University does a good job of paving and maintaining walkways around campus. That said, there are a few spots around campus that are prime candidates for pedestrian improvement. This muddy embankment, located adjacent to Jimenez Hall, is calling out for a cement staircase. Here pedestrians walking from the HH bus stop and the union have broken down a chain fence and eroded the earth down to tree roots cutting through to reach the mall. We hope the Facilities Management department targets this spot for future construction.

People Power Broke the ChainDirt Path

Welcome to Rethink College Park!

With classes starting this week and our marketing campaign in full swing we’ve been getting a number of new visitors. While UMD CHAPEL.jpgyou are here be sure to check out the pages in our library about

Our goal is that the information in both the forums you see below and the library will work off each other to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date content possible. This website, at its core, is an information clearinghouse. We hope what we’re trying to do is fairly self-explanatory: build an inclusive forum where students, faculty, and community members can read about and discuss development issues in College Park.

If you like what we’re doing we need your help! We are currently looking for students or College Park residents interested in taking photos, writing short posts, and helping us organize events. If you are good with graphics and would like to help us produce promotional material or a better logo we would also like to hear from you.

What Does College Park Need?

In one of this website’s first comments University of Maryland Professor Peter Levine suggests one of the things College Park needs is a grocery store, noting that without it “it’s hard to be a car-less student.” Although we like the Maryland Food Collective, we have to agree the options are limited for campus-bound students.

What do you think College Park needs most? Whether it’s more bars, coffee shops, or anything else we want to know – post your thoughts in the comments below.

Be Our Friend

In order to get the word out about this site we have created groups on two popular social networking websites.

If you have an account on Facebook.com you can join this public Rethink College Park group to connect with other readers.

We have also created this College Park group on the popular photo-sharing website Flickr.com. If you use this website we encourage you to join the group and contribute your College Park photos to the “pool.” If you do not have an account you can still view the group’s photo without logging in. If you’d like us to consider using your photo either send it to the group or just add the tag “rethinkcollegepark.”

Navigating Campus

COMPASS.gifWe’ve been noticing plenty of newcomers to campus wandering about with campus maps figuring out how to get around, so we thought now was the perfect time to point out some online map resources. The best place to start is probably the University’s interactive map that lets you find buildings, parking lots, and other landmarks by name, number, or letter code. If you are feeling bold they also have posted a PDF version of the map printed in university publications, although be warned – the file is large and hard to navigate. Looking for a library or a place to study? The library has this map of all their facilities.

We noticed a variety of local and statewide maps available for free in the student union near the information desk, some of which are available from the Maryland Department of Transportation. For College Park we found a good map at the union but use Google Maps online, and the city has posted to their website this PDF of the council wards.

As a matter of good urban design we think additional, permanent maps are needed both on campus and in the city of College Park. Detailed maps placed in busy areas can help newcomers and visitors find their way as well as encouraging pedestrian traffic.

> Interactive campus map

Byrd Stadium Naming Rights Sold

Chevy Chase Bank has purchased, in a 25-year $20 million deal, the naming rights to the field at Byrd Stadium. The money, combined with $35 million from the Board of Regents will herald in a 2,000 to 3,000 luxury seat expansion on the Tyser Tower side of the stadium as well as roughly 500 Mezzanine-level seats. Signs conveying the new name: Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium were immediately spotted on I-95. Expected Completion: 2009-2010 season.

Know Your Rights as a Tenant

The new school year means lots of students will either be living in residence halls or off-campus rented housing for the first time. Taking a few minutes now to familiarize yourself with the applicable laws and regulations can help make your year safe, fun, and as stress-free as possible.

If you are living on campus the Department of Residence Life website has a variety of information about residence hall life. Dorm residents should check out the Community Handbook, a set of rules specific to residence halls. Of particular interest is the section on staff entry to dorm rooms. The Department of Residence Life also maintains a seperate Alcohol Policy about rules, sanctions, and resources related to alcohol.

House ClipartLiving off-campus? Before moving in be sure you’ve examined the lease and have all your landlord’s contact information. It’s their job to repair routine maintenance problems that arise, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you notice problems with your house or apartment. In general, it’s best to communicate with your landlord in writing – either by letter or email – so that you have a record if there are any problems later. The University’s Off-Campus Housing Services website has housing listings if you are still looking for a place to live. If you have trouble with your landlord the Undergraduate Student Legal Aid Office or Graduate Student Legal Aid Office can provide you with free advice about housing or a variety of other issues. The City of College Park website has information about parking permits, trash collection, and other city services. Chapter 138 of the city code describes the rules relating to excessive noise, which can result in a $500 fine.

Taking a few minutes to review some of this material now can eliminate headaches later. We’ve added some of these links under “housing” on the right.

Van Munching Construction Begins

Van Munching Expansion

The University and the state of Maryland have begun construction on a second (38,000 SF) addition to Van Munching Hall since it was constructed in 1993; bringing the building to 238,000 SF. The building will house the school’s PhD program. The site is between the existing business school and the architecture building and further defines the western side of the planned southwest campus mall. (PDF) Expected completion: October 2008. This website contains a list of various construction projects around campus.