University installs mulch replacement outside Lovill Hall

Chelsey Fisher

Over fall break, a new paving material was installed outside Lovill Residence Hall.

The substance, called Flexi-Pave, replaced mulch which has washed away in heavy rains and tracked into lobbies by residents.

The Physical Plant has been testing numerous pavement materials, Physical Plant director Michael O’Connor said.

The mulch had been unpopular with residents and custodial staff, O’Connor said.

“We are giving [Flexi-Pave] a try to see how it will hold up to the harsh winter environment,” O’Conner said. “We have experimented with pervious asphalt and concrete and have found it does not hold up to the freeze thaw cycle in Boone. This new material may be an alternative for sidewalks that are not primary routes on campus where brick pavers are the standard.”

Flexi-Pave is the flagship product of K.B. Industries, Inc. The material is made from recycled car tires. It is designed to be a porous pavement which allows water to seep back into the ground, replenishing aquifers, according to KBI’s website.

The porosity rate of the Flexi-Pave material is approximately 2,000 gallons per square foot, per hour. It is designed for low speed applications such as parking lots, sidewalks and golf cart paths, according to KBI’s website.

“I would’ve preferred grass, but it’s a heck of a lot better than mulch,” sophomore building sciences major Clayton Boozer said.

James Broyhill, junior political science major and Lovill RA said he likes the Flexi-Pave.

“It doesn’t track dirt and stuff into the building, and [the university] won’t have to keep mulching the area,” Broyhill said.

Story: JOSHUA FARMER, Senior News Reporter