Recruiting, alumni fundraising and the reputation of an educational institution are all impacted by the state of the campus grounds. Mount Paran Christian Academy and Mercer College play different roles in the education continuum, yet both knew that in order to be considered among the best choices in their category, they needed landscaping and sports fields that conveyed quality.
Find out how our teams helped them achieve this and save money in the process.
Located just outside Atlanta, Georgia, Mount Paran Christian Academy has a picturesque 65-acre campus with walking paths, a 6-acre lake and award-winning sports fields. More than 71% of the students participate in sports and 61 middle and high school teams use the athletic fields. When we partnered with Mt. Paran, the new operational management was looking for experts who could take the campus grounds to the next level, especially the sports fields.
After a thorough assessment of the campus grounds and athletic fields, our experts created a plan that maximized results and minimized disruptions. Through open and constant communication, we were able to create a more environmentally sustainable landscape, assist with preparation for special school activities and accomplish all without interruptions to school or sports activities.
The school's two baseball fields, a big draw to prospective student athletes, were of particular concern to the new management. Our experts recommended over-seeding the fields, originally planted with winter-dormant Bermuda grass, with ryegrass to keep conditions stellar year-round.
Our teams also re-planted the school landscape with low-water-use native plants, taking great care to blend new landscaping with the established aesthetic. In addition to comprehensive maintenance including mowing, trimming, turf care, mulching, tree, flowerbed and shrub care, we worked Mt. Paran to design, install and maintain new planting areas.
Scott Varner, Sports Facilities Director and Assistant Director of Operations, was pleased with the changes. "When the campus looks great, it sells itself, " he said. "Originally, we were concerned that a national company might treat us as just another account. But the local team we're working with takes a lot of pride in its work. They've made my job so much easier."
Mercer University in Macon, Georgia has a strong academic reputation that dates back to 1833. University officials know that the first impression that beautiful campus grounds provide mean just as much as a strong academic program when it comes to keeping enrollment high. Yet, when Mercer reached out to us, its in-house crew didn’t have the expertise or resources to go beyond basic maintenance. In addition, the university needed scheduling flexibility for special events and campus activities.
We began partnering with Mercer in 2001. Immediately, our experts created a comprehensive daily maintenance plan with a dedicated full-time service crew. The tasks were many, but well thought out and efficiently scheduled to reduce impact on student traffic and eliminate interruptions to any classes being held nearby.
Our team kept high-traffic turf areas healthy and vibrant. They created seasonal flower installations to highlight campus focal areas. Special attention was paid to the university's historic houses and the landscaping surrounding the president's and alumni houses. We also maintained the university's extensive irrigation system, which includes 35 controllers and 400 zones.
Outsourcing landscape management significantly improved the look of Mercer's campus, contributing to increased enrollment while also reducing costs. In 2005, The Princeton Review recognized Mercer's "immaculate landscaping," naming it one of the top five most beautiful campuses in the country. While many factors play into enrollment, first impressions matter and landscaping plays a vital role. Mercer University enrolled the largest freshman class ever in 2013 and has increased total enrollment by 10.6% over the last five years.
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