Governor's School working to protect iconic 'Root Tree' during n - FOX Carolina 21

Governor's School working to protect iconic 'Root Tree' during new construction

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Rendering of the new music building. (Source: Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities). Rendering of the new music building. (Source: Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities).
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities said an effort will be made to protect an iconic tree in downtown Greenville as the school adds a new building to its campus.

The school plans to break ground on a new 10,000 square-foot building for its Music Department, according to Christina Vandiver, the school’s Public Relations Director. She said the new building will provide much-needed rehearsal, studio and climate-controlled storage space.

The concern is that the building will be near the iconic “Medusa Tree,” which is also known as the “Root tree” that can be seen from walkway through Falls Park. According to the South Carolina Picture Project, the tree sits on the Governor’s School’s property. It is believed to have been planted in the former Furman University arboretum and later cared for by the Greenville Garden Club in the late 1920s and 1930s.

Vandiver said the school has worked with engineers to plan protective measures for the beech tree as well other trees in the construction area. Five trees were deceased and posted a risk to the health of neighboring trees will be removed. 

According to Vandiver, the school will mulch the surrounding areas and use a water management system to help prevent erosion around the tree. 

Experts will monitor the trees' health during construction, she said. 

“The building will reside behind our courtyard and library, extending toward Furman College Way overlooking Falls Park,” Vandiver said. “In planning for this, there is a concerted effort to prevent harming the beloved beech tree.”

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