Section: News

Board discusses two major campus plans

Hannah Steigmeyer


The Board of Trustees’ annual spring meeting took place last weekend with two major plans up for consideration, the Master Plan and the 2020 Plan.

According to President Sean Decatur, the Master Plan is “sort of the full menu of possibilities of what could happen with campus.” He added that it was a chance to “layout the full picture for discussion and feedback.”

Board Chairman Barry Schwartz ’70 said the unveiling and preliminary discussion of the Plan “was very interesting and very ambitious and good to have as we face the future.”

Renovating the first-year residence halls is among the planned projects. “Housing is certainly an item covered by the Master Plan and it is constantly on our minds,” Schwartz said. The biggest challenge to the housing situation is where students will live during construction. Entire halls would have to shut down for the year, causing huge numbers of beds to be taken out of commission. “Mather and McBride have 170 beds or so in them,” Decatur said. To account for this displacement during construction, Decatur has the idea of building a brand a new residence hall.

Student voices were also heard at the meeting. “[The Board] really likes student input and they’ve listened to what students want,” Student Council President Kevin Pan ’15 said. At their presentation to the Trustees, Student Council focused on the problem of classes that require extra fees, and in the future they would like to discuss the expense and experience of traveling abroad.

According to Schwartz, the updates on the 2020 Plan “reflected some innovative thinking by President Decatur,” and the Board’s principal questions “focused on implementation.”

Decatur predicted that “October will be a time for the Board to really look at things.” When the Health Center and Hillel construction is completed in the fall, it will be the first time no major construction will be going on on campus in approximately 10 years.

Decatur doesn’t see any urgency to start building again, saying, “I think it’s actually not a bad thing for us to take a pause and figure out what the next move is.” He noted that he and the Board are taking careful and deliberate steps on the building front, but claimed some renovations would be in progress by 2020.



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