Just in time for Veterans Day, Central College in Pella is unveiling its newly renovated centerpiece, known as the Peace Mall.
Michelle Wilkie, Central’s director of development, says the space includes a History Garden which both honors veterans and enhances campus aesthetics. “It was originally created in 1964 and Peace Mall is really the heart of our campus,” Wilkie says. “A lot of our college traditions are centered around that space.”
She says Central College has distinguished itself with many examples of students and staff dedicating themselves to the ideals of our nation through military service. The Peace Mall aims to honor their stories. “It is just a beautiful History Garden with markers that symbolize and indicate different points in Central’s history,” Wilkie says, “and how it connects to the broader history of our world and environment.”
Those markers are made of limestone, glass, weathering steel, and stainless steel. A dollar figure for the renovation was not divulged but Wilkie says the project was bankrolled in large part by donations. “With the space being in the heart of our campus, we have a beautiful outdoor amphitheater that has served us well already with lots of different outdoor functions,” Wilkie says. “We’ve seen it as a great space for students, for staff, for faculty and for our community to gather.”
A few weeks ago, the mall won a design award from the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.