The University's 2026 Campus Plan, announced Monday night at a public meeting, includes major infrastructural decisions such as the expansion of the engineering school, the growth the Princeton Environmental Institute, and the construction of an additional residential areas on campus.
School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and Environmental Institute
According to the plan, the University expects to expand the SEAS to account for growth in various programs and larger overall enrollment within the school. University Architect Ronald McCoy GS '80 explained that the expansion of the SEAS can provide benefits such as improving academic collaboration between members of SEAS and members of other University departments.
McCoy added that the school's expansion would allow for more class space and research laboratories, all equipped with the newest and most efficient technologies and tools.
The construction of new facilities for the Environmental Studies Programis also included in the 2026 Campus Plan. The facilities would enhance collaboration and increase shared research space for the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Department of Evolutionary and Ecological Biology , and the Department of Geosciences.
Construction of New Residential Areas
The University previously announced the planned growth of the student body by roughly 10 percent. The 2026 Campus Plan attempts to meet the residential needs of the expanded student body, Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee '69 said during the meeting.
The areas within the University-owned land that are expected to become residential areas include the Butler tract, the Alexander Corridor, and West Windsor lands. Whether these areas would provide housing for graduate students, post-docs, or faculty is yet to be determined.
“As of now, all we know is that the Butler tract will 100 percent become a residential area,” Durkee added.
The West Windsor lands are currently being considered as potential space for academics, administration, athletics and recreation, housing, and innovation.
“It should be considered a campus community,” said McCoy. “It will have less academic influence and more of the other kind of uses [such as administration and housing] but it should be thought of as something mixed in nature.”
Springdale Golf Course
McCoy explained that the land that is currently occupied by the Springdale Golf Course will be transformed to meet the other interests of the University mission, including improving the natural settings and habitat and improving public access.
The University recognizes that the Springdale land's proximity to central campus, the Lewis Center, Forbes College, and the Graduate College renders the land valuable to the University's educational mission.
McCoy added that nothing will change on the land until the lease for the golf course expires. The lease is expected to expire in roughly 10 years.
Pedestrian and Cycling Routes through Campus
The University expects to implement significant plans to promote walking and cycling on campus. Durkee noted that the University is ranked first among peer Ivy League institutions in the number of free parking spaces offered to the students and the community.
McCoy explained that the 2026 Campus Plan’s goal is to reduce the role of private automobiles on campus. He explained that this will be done through the expansion of a cycling and pedestrian network, both on campus and in the surrounding community.
He added that the plan also intends to implement strategies to reduce parking demands for the purpose of reducing vehicular traffic in the community.
Lake Carnegie Landscape
The Campus Plan intends to better integrate Lake Carnegie into the University landscape, more than simply for members of the University crew teams
McCoy said that the University seeks to continue extending and restoring the Springdale and Broadmead areas for sustainability purposes and to improve access to the areas surrounding Lake Carnegie, including entry to the Canal towpath and trails.
The final 2026 Campus Plan outlining a complete overview of the projects is projected to be finished by 2017.