University of Louisville officials unveiled the renovated Belknap Campus oval at a press conference Sept. 22.

The oval has been under reconstruction since 2007, making way for the addition of such aethestic features as a cascading fountain, lighting and landscaping and such safety features as sidewalks, curbs and brickpavers. The latter are intended to calm traffic and lessen vehicular emissions in the area.

Flanked by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet secretary Joe Prather and Adam Edelen, chief of staff for Gov. Steve Beshear, UofL President James Ramsey pressed an oversized button turning on the fountain, which features 16 sprayers.

n addition to its other benefits, renovating the oval also was an important part in making campus more welcoming and attractive for students, said Ramsey, noting that an attractive campus is part of the goal of retaining and graduating students.

“We needed a campus that students wanted to call home,” Ramsey said.

The project, which began in 2007, was paid for by Transportation Enhancements Program funding through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a grant from the University of Louisville Foundation. Plans for the project go back to 2004.