Master academic and housing plans approved

The Board of Trustees approved the College’s Conceptual Master Plan on Monday, March 24, which includes all proposed demolitions, additions and renovations to the College through 2021.

According to R. Barbara Gitenstein, president of the College, the approved plan is a revision of the conceptual plan for facilities passed by the Board of Trustees in 2001.

“As always happens with a plan, there are changes and modifications that come as a consequence of changes in funding, changes in speed to completion of projects and changes in priorities,” Gitenstein said. “The 2001 plan was the first real facilities master plan that the College adopted.”

The approval came after more than two years of development of the plan and discussion with two committees of the Board of Trustees, Gitenstein said.

The presentation given to the board on Feb. 26 divided the Master Plan into two parts, the Housing Plan and the Academic/Administrative Plan.

The Housing Plan includes projects scheduled to be completed between 2009 and 2017.

Overall, 257 beds are to be added into the College’s housing lottery.

According to the plan, the Metzger apartments will be completed in August 2009 and will house 400 students. The College will also construct a new dormitory to house 310 sophomore students. The dormitory should be completed in 2012.

Renovations are being planned on Decker, Travers, Wolfe, Allen, Brewster, Ely and Cromwell.

The last of the renovations is scheduled to be finished in 2017.

The last portion of the Housing Plan includes the demolition of Norsworthy in 2014 and Centennial in 2017.

Demolitions are also scheduled under the Academic/Administrative Plan. In addition to the demolition of the Forcina wing in 2009, Holman Hall is scheduled to be demolished in 2013 and the ’68 wing of the Roscoe L. West Library in 2015.

Several renovations are scheduled for the Forcina Tower between 2013 and 2021. Renovations to the 1934 wing of the old library are scheduled for completion in 2012, to the science labs in 2016 and to Loser Hall in 2020.

In addition to the new Education Building, the Art/Interactive Multimedia Building is scheduled to be finished in 2009 and plans for a new academic building and a new nursing building schedule construction to be completed in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

The most significant changes made in the current Conceptual Master Plan were made to the Academic/Administrative Plan.

Following a March 2007 presentation of the Master Plan, members of the College community expressed concern that Forcina Hall was scheduled to be demolished before lecture halls were to be constructed in other buildings.

In the approved plan, the August 2009 renovation of the ’68 wing of the library will add one 148-seat lecture hall and a 192-seat hall.

The Forcina wing, containing two 140-seat halls and one 348-seat hall, will be demolished later that year.

The new Education Building, scheduled to be completed in 2011, is also planned to have two lecture halls.

Changes have been made to the building plan since it was first announced last year.

“The changes included in the plan were informed by input gathered by two steering committees, one that focused on residential development and one that focused on academic and administrative buildings,” Gitenstein said.

However, the Conceptual Master Plan does not include projects to improve or add to athletic or recreational areas at the College, another concern raised last March.

According to the presentation, the office of Student Affairs is developing plans for these areas and for Brower Student Center.

“We know that we will have to add plans for improvements to the student center and other recreational and athletic facilities,” Gitenstein said.

Stacy Holland, chair of the Board of Trustees, said the board felt the Master Plan addresses the priorities of the College and it acted unanimously to approve the plan.

“The board will continue to be involved in conversations on each project and will be required to act in order to approve funding for the project components,” she said.

According to Gitenstein, it is important to remember that the Conceptual Master Plan is open to change in the coming years.

“A good plan should help clarify priorities for an institution, but it should also be flexible enough to allow the institution to respond to vagaries of state funding and possible additional private funding,” Gitenstein said. “In other words, a plan is just that – a plan.”