Bexley's tree commission signed off last week on a landscaping plan for Capital University's gateway, but the approval came with recommendations.

Bexley's tree commission signed off last week on a landscaping plan for Capital University's gateway, but the approval came with recommendations.

The commission heard from Troy Bonte, director of facilities management at Capital, about the plans for the brick "College Gateway" on the south side of Main Street at Drexel Avenue.

Commission members said they were pleased with the new look of the entrance. A wrought iron structure with "Capital University" in brass letters at the top has been installed above the brick gateway.

"When I came to Capital about two years ago one of the first things I saw at the Drexel gate was a steel fence with a Plexiglas background and wooden letters," Bonte said. "It was one of my goals to change that and that's one of the first things we did. It's something more in tune with what our university stands for."

To clear the area for landscaping, the university removed two pine trees that were one-sided in growth, an old maple tree and evergreen bushes at the entrance that were growing into the sidewalk, Bonte said.

The landscaping plan will be implemented as the funds become available, Bonte said. The total project is estimated to cost $30,000-$40,000 and will be done in phases, he said.

The first phase includes planting six hornbeam trees on the south side of the existing brick gate as well as boxwood bushes and myrtle, a low evergreen ground cover. The university also plans to plant two London plane trees along the edge of the sidewalk on Main Street and a line of tulip poplar trees along the sidewalk that extends from the gateway onto campus grounds.

Commission member Virginia Salamy recommended Bonte remove some bricks from the brick gateway and plant boxwood on the north side of the gate, rather than use plant containers as the landscaping plan stated.

"The planters are not tall enough," Salamy said. "I think the entrance to Capital University you want to be very elegant and stately. Planters subtract from that. My suggestion is you go back to the plan you have for inside the gate and do the mirror opposite with the boxwood and get rid of some of the brick. It would add harmony and be very elegant."

The commission agreed with Salamy's suggestions and also recommended the university not plant during the summer because of the greater risk of the plants dying.

Bonte said he was aware of the complications of planting in the summer and the city's zoning code, which would require the university to replace any dead plants.

Capital University will present the landscaping plan to the city's Main Street Redevelopment Commission at its next meeting, 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 2. The university will not proceed with planting until after getting approval from the MSRC, Bonte said.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com