USC Upstate Holds Preview For Roël Garden Pavilion

June 17, 2010 at 10:48 am

Spartanburg, S.C. – Construction will soon begin on the Dr. Lawrence E. Roël Garden Pavilion at the University of South Carolina Upstate. A preview will be held on Friday, June 25 at 10:00 a.m. at the future site of the Pavilion, which will be located in the Susan Jacobs Arboretum across the creek from the P. Kathryn Hicks Visual Arts Building.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring students to the study of the natural sciences in a beautiful outdoor classroom, and to provide a facility from which the whole community can benefit.  We’re very excited to join with the university in this endeavor,” says Dr. Roël, a board certified ophthalmologist with practices on Spartanburg’s Eastside and Westside, who, together with his wife, P. Kathryn “Katie” Hicks, professor emeritus of art, are long-time supporters of the University.

Once completed, the Dr. Lawrence E. Roël Garden Pavilion will complement the arboretum’s natural setting and provide numerous opportunities for learning and fellowship. Conceptualized primarily as an outdoor classroom for small classes of about 30 students and large classes or groups of up to 150, the Pavilion will be built from natural materials in a rustic Shaker style. Open on three sides to allow for cross breezes, the 1,000 sq. ft. structure will be built of stacked stone, cedar posts, a tongue-and-groove wooden ceiling, with a lodge-style fireplace and rustic beams.

Although the Roël Pavilion will serve the campus as an outdoor classroom during the day, opportunities for its use extend far past traditional daytime events to dinners and intimate outdoor receptions. The fireplace will warm the space and provide ambiance, as decorative copper hanging lanterns will lend an inviting evening glow.

To learn more about the Roël Pavilion, visit or contact Bea Walters Smith, director of development and foundation scholarships, at (864) 503-5235 or