Ursa International

Columbus Cougars

Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia

Cougars On Campus, 2012

Cougar Plan
Exhibit Site Plan

Cats on Campus
Columbus State University is represented by a Cougar mascot. The President’s office decided they would pursue the idea of housing a real Cougar on Campus - not for Football Games, but to educate the students and give respect to the great native Cat. Ursa was invited to assess the possibility and report on a recommendation. The client had a site proposed, but would entertain any other available parcel on the 500+ acre campus.

Ursa's Concept Workshop Process
Ursa coordinated a ½ day workshop with the President, Deans and several department heads to discuss the questions, understand the mission and goals of the project, and get direction from the highest level at the University. We toured the entire campus and determined our favorite location for the new Habitat – by the river, on a slope, with tall canopy hardwoods. We also evaluated the proposed site, a flat lawn adjacent to a 6 story athletic building and fronting the Men’s Baseball field, across the street from the Student Center. At a second meeting we were able to present to two options and evaluations. The client wanted the central site for security concerns - Ursa wanted the natural site, for the cat. In the end, this will be a great habitat and long term home for the Columbus State Cougars.

The project not only provides adequate holding and habitat for a pair or threesome of Cougars, it also provides indoor space for 150 people, as well as catering, restroom and service areas to host a wide range of events, viewing the Cougar. It will also be open for impromptu student and townspeople to visit and learn about the state of the Cougar, on Campus and in the world.

Cougar 2_web
View from Visitor Viewing into Cougar Exhibit

The Lash’s worked together on this as a Master Planning team, Exhibit Design and Biologist, to determine the design criteria, program, material selection, site design and many options. We coordinated with all stakeholders, staff including Alumni and Faculty representatives. We advised the President of the University and his senior staff spearheading the effort. We prepared the presentation material for promoting the project to the private sector. The project has been approved and waiting for fundraising. Thus far the effort has followied a robust pace.

cougar-concept section
Cross section from Athletic Building and Main Street