U. releases 2026 planning framework with plans for new residential college| Dec 5, 2017
On Dec. 5, the University released a planning framework detailing plans to expand and develop campus over the next decade.
The plan, which expands on a strategic planning framework proposed by the University in January 2016, identifies potential locations for new residential colleges, engineering and environmental studies facilities, and accommodations for new programs featuring partnerships with outside entities, according to a press release from the Office of Communications.
Unlike previous iterations, Princeton’s updated 2026 planning framework makes use of land south of Lake Carnegie — which would form a new ‘Lake Campus’ — and land east of Washington Road.
The ‘Lake Campus,’ described by a University press release as a “dynamic, mixed-use community in a gently sloping landscape,” would include athletic facilities, graduate and postdoctoral student housing, retail space, parking, bike paths, and transportation options.
Another highlight of the plan is the proposed location of Princeton’s seventh residential college. Under the new planning framework, the new college — which would accommodate an extra 125 students in each graduating class — would be located south of Poe and Pardee Fields.
According to a map provided by the University in its press release, the planned new residential college would contain six new buildings, and would be outlined on the south with a planned “enhanced movement corridor.”
Building this new residential college would require relocating athletic facilities currently used by Princeton’s softball and tennis teams. The facilities would be relocated to the new Lake Campus, where practice areas for rugby and cross country already exist.
The University also allocated space for a second new residential college, which is not immediately in the University’s plans but could become necessary in future years. If not used for a new residential college, the space could also be used to “permit extensive renovation of existing dormitories.”
Also included in the new framework are improved transportation options for cyclists and pedestrians on campus. The new plan outlines two new “campus connectors” — one from the Graduate College to East Campus, and one from Nassau Street to the Lake Campus. These new paths, along with a “diagonal walk” from Mathey College to McCosh Health Center, aim to make the campus more walkable.
The framework also contains significant emphasis on sustainability, underscoring the need for new environmental studies facilities as well as emphasizing the need for “alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles” for navigating campus.
Constructing new academic buildings to house expanded environmental studies and engineering buildings would be a boon to those programs, but would also present logistical questions for the University.
“[O]nce new spaces become available, decisions will have to be made about whether to renovate, repurpose or replace some or all of the existing Engineering Quadrangle buildings,” according to the press release.
The University consulted with a wide range of campus planners on the new framework, namely Urban Strategies, a firm based in Toronto. The planning team also sought input from the Princeton community, and held open meetings on and near campus to solicit feedback.