Board approves Master Plan for campus expansion
Observer Staff Report
Final preparations for campus expansion are around the bend for Saint Mary’s after the Board of Trustees approved a Master Plan for campus expansion at its June 26 retreat.
Concluding a year of planning with Performa Consulting, the Board gave the go-ahead for a $74 million long-range plan which will extend over a period of several years.
"The overriding goal of the planning process was to retain that special quality of the Saint Mary’s campus while, at the same time, enhancing the teaching and living space to provide the best possible student-centered environment," said William Schmuhl, chairman of the board.
The approved plan includes the construction of four new buildings, renovations of five current buildings and additions to three existing facilities. Parking lots will be moved and added and common areas will be created to unify campus.
New residence halls designed to accommodate apartment-style living will be constructed on the northeast corner of campus. In addition to alternative living space, it will allow for conference housing during the summer months.
Living space was a concern for the College in the design process, due to an increasing student population. Saint Mary’s hopes to enroll 1750 students by the year 2005.
"Because our enrollment is expanding we have been aggressive about keeping up with the demands upon our campus," said Marilou Eldred, president of Saint Mary’s. "We expect that 90 percent of our student body will be living on campus by 2005, so we are challenged to keep it a place of beauty that is truly supportive or our academic and spiritual missions."
A multi-purpose center will also assist in the College’s need for conference and common space. The 50,000 square foot facility will be located on the northeast corner of campus. Meeting rooms, instructional space, faculty offices, meeting space and food preparation areas will be included in the building.
A welcome center, designed to greet visitors to campus, will also be constructed. Campus security will move to this location.
Keeping with the need for 24-hour student meeting space on campus, the demand for a student center is also answered in the Master Plan.
Noble Family Dining Hall will undergo significant renovation to create a Student Center that will be home to the bookstore, a convenience store, travel agency, bank, post office, student organization offices and meeting space for student organizations.
Angela Athletic Facility will also undergo major renovation, with plans outlining additional recreation and support spaces, a pool and second gymnasium.
Haggar College Center will house offices several campus offices.
Common areas will help connect existing and future buildings into clusters with connecting walkways to unify campus.
One common area will be constructed where Le Mans parking lot currently exists. This space will serve as a connection for Le Mans Hall, Regina Hall, Moreau Center for the Arts and the renovated and expanded Noble Family Dining Hall and student activity center.
A second green space will be built at the northeast corner of campus, connecting the new residence halls, Angela Athletic Facility and the multipurpose center.
A financial plan is currently in planning to finance the project. The first project will be the renovation and expansion of the Noble Family Dining Hall and renovation of teaching space in existing buildings.
Noreen Gillespie contributed to this report.
All News Stories for Friday, August 27, 1999