Attending any event at James Madison University in Harrisonburg means you will inevitably be caught in a sea of purple and gold—the school’s signature colors. JMU even passes out bright purple shirts each year with “I Bleed Purple”emblazoned on the back in bright gold letters. But this year, the Harrisonburg-based campus will be known for another color: green.
The campus is getting somewhat of a makeover with the addition of four traffic gates and the removal/replacement of a few parking lots. The goal? According to the school’s website: “The navigational changes will support JMU’s commitment to environmental sustainability by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on campus.”
Students will still be allowed to park on campus, just not necessarily drive all the way through it. The traffic gates built in the middle of campus will only allow busses (and authorized vehicles) to pass, encouraging students to utilize public transportation. The addition of bike paths partnered with the removal of parking spots will also create a much more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere—a chance to stop and smell JMU’s beautifully-landscaped roses, if you will.
But this isn’t JMU’s first green step. In 2009, the East Campus Dining Hall, an all-you-can-eat buffet-style dining hall, was built as the campus’ first building that followed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. With its close proximity to bike racks, naturally daylit areas and construction made of recycled and regionally manufactured materials, “E-Hall,” as students call it, is just the flagship for eco-friendly JMU buildings in the future.
So when campus is buzzing at the end of August with frenzied freshmen and upperclassmen learning new traffic patterns, there will be just a hint more green backdropped against the always-beautiful purple and gold on campus.