The University finalized the most comprehensive campus plan in its history yesterday, publishing the full details in a 180-page book and hosting an open house to discuss the plan.
The book, entitled “Princeton Campus Plan: The Next Ten Years and Beyond,” was published after the University released a 24-page brochure earlier this month. The plan calls for adding two million square feet of construction while addressing environmental sustainability and maintaining campus culture.
A central feature of the plan is the new Arts and Transit Neighborhood, which will be situated in the southwestern portion of campus and will involve moving the Dinky Station and the Wawa Market. The neighborhood will also include retail venues, classroom and performance spaces and a satellite gallery for the Art Museum.
The plan also includes outlines for the redesigned Butler College, as well as for the new neuroscience and psychology buildings.
Landscaping improvements are also a major focus of the plan. The University hopes to enhance the beauty and environmental sustainability of the southern section of campus by extending the woodlands around Lake Carnegie further north.
As the main campus fills to capacity, administrative buildings such as New South and MacMillan could be demolished or renovated to make room for academic and student-life facilities, according to the plan.
The plan additionally proposed three potential sites for a seventh residential college. Each of the three sites is less than half a mile from Frist Campus Center.
Over 100 members of the community attended a five-hour open house held in the old U-Store building yesterday evening. University Vice President and Secretary Bob Durkee ’69 gave a PowerPoint presentation about progress on the campus plan and its effects on the community.
An audience of more than 80 people listened as Durkee spoke on the new Arts and Transit Neighborhood.
Paul Muldoon, director of the Lewis Center of the Arts, said he hoped that “the community at large will be able to take advantage of our students presenting even more in the way of creative and performing arts.”
The plans will require moving the Dinky Station farther from the center of campus, which drew a strong reaction from community members. The issue dominated the question-and-answer session.
The University plans to support efforts by the Borough to develop a Jitney system to take commuters to the farther-removed Dinky Station. “We are firmly committed if the Borough chooses to go ahead with this plan,” Durkee said.
James Bash, a 10-year community resident, said that a Jitney would only extend an already tiring commute. “It’s a long commute, and if you think about adding a walk to a Jitney, a Jitney ride to the Dinky, a Dinky to Princeton Junction and then subways, you are talking about a few hours,” he said.
“I’d like to see the Dinky move closer to the center of town,” said Bash. “Obviously we love the university, my wife is an alumni, but I do see this creep effect and that’s why I’m here.”
Bash also brought up the history of the University displacing the Dinky with growth plans. The Dinky originally ran to Blair Arch and was moved to its current location in the late 1980s.
Many other residents expressed concerns about the campus-expansion plan. Anne Neuman, for example, said that “moving the Dinky is a tiny symptom of larger relations between town and gown.” Neuman especially objected to the idea that establishing a Jitney would solve the problem of moving the Dinky.
Durkee said he was pleased that the community has been involved, adding that he anticipated many of the concerns and expects that “people are going to continue to be very interested in the implications of relocating the end of the Dinky. They are concerned with what that means practically and more symbolically.”
Residents were also concerned about the availability of parking places for commuters. Durkee assured them that the current plan would move any spaces that were lost to construction to a new location in the transit area.
Though some argued that the new Wawa location would cater to students more than community members, Durkee explained that the Wawa would continue to serve the community, commuters and students. “We want it in a place where it’s convenient to all three of those people,” Durkee said.
Concerned citizens have also debated the expansion through a new organization called Future Princeton. This group is sponsoring an open forum about the plans for the campus on March 29 at the Princeton Public Library.
Durkee has been meeting with community members and fielding their concerns since the projects were first introduced in early 2006.