University announces development of University-owned land beyond central campus| Sep 19, 2016
The University presented its 2026 Campus Plan to local officials and residents at a public meeting Monday night, announcing the committee’s decision to transform the land beyond the main campus that belongs to the University. This includes lands in the municipality of West Windsor, lands south of Lake Carnegie, the Forrestal Campus in the municipality of Plainsboro, and Prospect Avenue.
The presentation speakers included University Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee '69, University Architect Ronald McCoy GS '80, and Cyndi Rottenburg-Walker, head consultant for the 2026 Campus Plan.
The University's existing 2016 Campus Plan draws to a close this year, requiring the creation of the new 2026 Campus Plan. Durkee added that in contrast to the previous plan, which only sketched a decade worth of growth for the University, the 2026 Campus Plan attempts to map out the University’s evolution for the next thirty years.
“[For the 2016 Campus Plan] we focused on the central campus. This time, we want to look at all of the University’s campus land,” Durkee said. “We recognize that as difficult as it sometimes can be, when installing infrastructure, it’s important to have a full understanding possible as to what future needs need to be accommodated.”
Durkee explained that the 2026 Campus Plan primarily focuses on traffic transportation, housing, and environmental problems and sustainability.
“Modern campus planning is extremely comprehensive and collaborative,” said McCoy. “We’re not just thinking of land use. We have to give equal consideration of the land to the University community and the local community.”
Walker explained that the development of the plan has been divided into four stages, and the planning committee is currently in the midst of Phase 3. Phase 1, which stretched from July 2014 to July 2015, focused on reconnaissance of the land area and data gathering. Phase 2, which took place from July 2015 to April 2016, involved analyzing the data. Phase 3, which is ongoing, is considering plans for potential campus plan projects that can be implemented.Phase 4, which the committee expects to complete by the summer of 2017, involves compiling the many Campus Plan projects.
She added that many of the decisions have been aided by Campus Compass, a conversation that the University sponsored with members of the community to understand which aspects of campus were highly valued and which aspects have troubled its members. The outcomes of the Campus Compass dialogue have aided the Campus Plancommittee in understanding which aspects of the University campus have troubled the members and identifying what the challenges for the future projects would be.
The 2026 Campus Plan is guided by five principles, McCoy said. According to McCoy, the principles include providing an integrated environment for teaching, living, learning, and research; enhancing the campus’s distinctive sense of place; fostering a setting that is welcoming and supportive and encourages positive interaction and exchange; creating a climate that encourages thoughtful and creative approaches to sustainability; and serving communities that extend beyond the campus.
“We are still clarifying choices, understanding contexts, and beginning to address questions that need to addressed,” Durkee said.
The Campus Plan team includes lead consulting firm Urban Strategies Inc. as well as consulting, engineering and technology firms such as BFJ Planning, Burns & McDonnell, KPMB Architects, LEVEL Agency for Infrastructure LLC, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., Mills+Schnoering Architects, Nitsch Engineering, Populous, Rickes Associates, Sustainable Water, Transpolar, Two Twelve, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., ZGF Architects, Van Note-Harvey Associates, and Vermeulens.