After beginning the $5 million expansion of John R. Emens Auditorium last summer, the project is nearing its end as a $1.6 million makeover of the front lawn has begun.

The Star Press reported that new lawn is going to be repaired after the destruction of the expansion project. The lawn will include a new drop-off/pick up area for elderly and disabled patrons that will connect to pedestrian and bicycle paths leading up to the upcoming East Mall.

"Ball State wanted a more attractive and inviting appearance from Riverside," University Spokesperson Joan Todd told The Star Press. "We also wanted a gathering space for crowds and events in front of Emens, where we could put tents and outdoor dining options."

Related: Construction projects, renovations to take place this summer on campus

Emens' main lobby and front entrance closed June 7, 2016 for the expansion project. The project adds about 12,000 square feet to the front of the building, allowing for a larger lobby, a hospitality space, a conference room, office space, more restrooms and the relocation of the box office to an interior area.

RELATED: Campus construction work on schedule, some parts almost complete 

Re-opening of Emens will be this fall after the lawn work is finished.