‘Pathways to a Healthy Kansas’ makes improvements to courtyard
Construction is nearly complete on a new seating area in the Seward County Community College main courtyard. The gazebo, table and chairs, are the latest installation funded by a healthy-living grant thanks to the Liberal Area Coalition for Families (LACF) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. The main courtyard at SCCC is now designated as smoke-free. Students and community members who arrive on campus will be greeted by newly-installed “Smoke Free” signage.
As part of the “Pathways to a Healthy Kansas” initiative, the project aligns with one of SCCC’s key directions, providing a safe and healthy campus.
“We’ve been working on these kinds of projects for several years now, with our Connections trail system and changes to campus vending and food choices,” said SCCC President Dr. Ken Trzaska. “The overall vision is to make campus kind of an oasis for the community. Our work has gathered momentum and it’s a natural fit to make this change regarding smoking on campus.” Changes to the campus’ position on smoking were announced in July 2019.
Trzaska noted that SCCC is aware of the need for a designated smoking area.
“One of our core values is valuing others, and that certainly doesn’t exclude anyone,” he said. “We have identified an area that is suitable for our team members who smoke, and we’ll be adding more landscaping and seating.”
LACF director Sarah Mersdorf Foreman said she is thankful the college is willing to make what she describes as “a big step. Making the center of campus, where there is the most traffic a smoke free area really does move toward a safe and healthy environment.”
Other improvements to SCCC center campus include additional seating, installation of a pergola on the trail system pathway, and a coffee and healthy snacks kiosk in partnership with the Saints Bookstore. The movable kiosk will offer the capacity to serve as a “coffee cart” at other campus locations.
Distributed in three phases, the grant of $54,000 will improve the trail system, enhance healthy food options, and fund the non-smoking signage and landscaping elements.