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Green getaway provides breath of fresh air


“Veronica’s Garden,” a new indoor terrarium, is breathing beauty and oxygen into the Student & Administrative Services Center.

Named in honor of Veronica M. Muzic, the first recipient of Penn College’s Master Teacher Award, the terrarium has been installed in the former “Core” on the second floor of the building and is visible from all three floors. Visitors are also welcome to enter the terrarium and meander along a small curved walkway to take in the greenery or sit awhile on one of two benches.

The “Core” featured seating and a portable whiteboard, but the small meeting space was rarely used. President Davie Jane Gilmour suggested the re-envisioning of the space as a terrarium – a feature she has noticed in various venues during her travels. The college’s grounds crew, known for its creative additions to the campus scene, took on the project from design to construction and planting.

Andrea L. Mull, horticulturist/grounds and motor pool supervisor, crafted five ornamental spheres that hang into the space. She and Chad L. Karstetter, horticulturist/motor pool lead person, produced large floor planters and two bench seats that resemble mountain stone. Metalwork fabricated by Chad M. Aloisio, service and design technician, adds visual interest to the glass garden teeming with living plants and accents of faux foliage and decorative curiosities, including metal bugs, ladybugs and an owl.

“We wanted to create a good, healthy environment for the building,” Mull said. “It’s a good oxygen source. Indoor terrariums do a lot for closed buildings (buildings where you can’t open the windows).” Other General Services staffers adding their talents to the DIY “makeover” include Jeffery M. Taylor, mechanic assistant, motor pool/grounds, and Mary Jo DeVinney, horticulturist. “For Dr. Gilmour to allow us to design this, it’s amazing,” Mull said, adding, “We want people to escape, stop thinking about work, and come in here and think about what life’s all about.”

Muzic retired as vice president for academic affairs/provost in 2006 after 30 years of service to the college as a faculty member and administrator. The highest honor for Penn College faculty also carries her name: the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

“Veronica’s Garden,” in all of its green glory
“Veronica’s Garden,” in all of its green glory

A not-so-secret garden awaits those ascending the SASC’s front steps
A not-so-secret garden awaits those ascending the SASC’s front steps

A walking stick crawls up metalwork, along with other climbing finery.
A walking stick crawls up metalwork, along with other climbing finery.

Looking down on the terrarium from the third floor
Looking down on the terrarium from the third floor

Metalwork merges with terrarium touches.
Metalwork merges with terrarium touches.

The curved glass space is viewable from the first-floor lobby.
The curved glass space is viewable from the first-floor lobby.

Crafted floor planters hold decorative touches …
Crafted floor planters hold decorative touches …

… including accents of fool’s gold.
… including accents of fool’s gold.

An owl oversees the indoor sanctuary.
An owl oversees the indoor sanctuary.

The skylight and Aloisio’s metalwork align.
The skylight and Aloisio’s metalwork align.

Red flora mimics the dangling décor of the lobby mobile.
Red flora mimics the dangling décor of the lobby mobile.

A view from the second-floor balcony
A view from the second-floor balcony

Comments

Lynn Hanson,

I love it!

Lucille Halberstadt,

Positively awesome! Glad it bears my sister’s name. So very proud!

Lisa Rowinski,

Absolutely beautiful. So fitting ❤️

Ann Marie Furdock,

How colorful and creative and a wonderful tribute to Veronica. Great job, Andrea!

Kimberly Venti,

Absolutely love it! Thank you to everyone who worked hard to create it!

Carol Lugg,

Gorgeous tribute to Veronica and the abundant vitality she has contributed over the years to this institution!

Heather Allison,

I can’t wait to see this! It is absolutely gorgeous and a wonderful tribute to Veronica!

Denise Miller,

It is a truly beautiful creation such as the honoree that it is named after. I feel very fortunate to be able to enjoy this view each and every day.

Sandra Richmond,

Absolutely beautiful; great job by Andrea and her team!

Jane Grages,

Stunning display – what a wonderful addition to the college and for such a worthy cause! Well done!

Connie Horne,

Beautiful on so many levels!

MaryAnn,

So beautiful and inviting

Jean and Ambers Hanson,

How absolutely beautiful and in honor of such a great mentor to so many, including our daughter Lynn Hanson. I hope Veronica has an opportunity to see it!

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