University architect outlines plan for campus expansion at Princeton Council Meeting
At the Princeton Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 11, the University presented an ambitious expansion plan that would allow for the development of residential colleges, new engineering and environmental science buildings, and a new lake campus over the next 30 years.
University Architect Ron McCoy led the presentation of the plan, which proposes the construction of several facilities in the central and eastern campuses, in addition to the development of a lake campus to the south of Lake Carnegie. McCoy described the plan as “a mission-centered vision” that will guide the University in making land use decisions that most effectively further its objectives as an educational institution.
In order to accommodate the planned expansion of the undergraduate student body, the University intends to build at least one residential college on an open site south of the Poe and Pardee Fields and west of the Roberts Stadium. The diagonal walk that runs from Mathey College to the McCosh Health Center will be extended to the Poe and Pardee Fields, so that the new residential college or colleges will be more connected to the rest of the campus.
The planned increase in the size of the undergraduate student body has also compelled the University to expand the Dillon Gym onto the Dillon Court. Additionally, the University hopes to relocate the academic faculty in Guyot Hall and the health services in the McCosh Health Center to other buildings so as to create a larger Frist/Guyot/McCosh “node” for social life.
McCoy identified the enlargement and improvement of spaces for the study of engineering and environmental sciences as another major priority for the University. To that end, multiple engineering departments are to be relocated to newly constructed facilities along the north side of Ivy Lane, freeing up the Friend Center, the Computer Science Building, and the Engineering Quad for other uses. A second social “node” has also been incorporated into the design of the buildings, providing a space on the eastern campus for students, staff, and faculty to come together and foster a better sense of community.
The University currently owns over 210 acres of land south of Lake Carnegie and east of Washington Road, which it plans to turn into a lake campus that will function as a “mixed-use” extension of the existing campus. Envisioned amenities include athletic offices, administrative facilities, housing for up to 500 graduate students, parking lots, and congregational innovation spaces. There may even be the construction of retail outlets or a hotel.
To access the lake campus, a pedestrian bridge will be built over Lake Carnegie and the Delaware and Raritan Canal, which will then connect to the preexisting path known as Tiger Lane via the Lake Campus Walk. In keeping with the University’s dual goals of promoting sustainability and mobility, the intersection of Lake Campus Walk and Tiger Lane will become the Tiger Lane Crossing, a focal point for public transportation like Tiger Transit to connect the lake campus with other parts of the University campus. Tiger Lane Crossing will contain additional amenities, such as outdoor social spaces and stores, to turn it into a third social “node” for the Princeton community.
McCoy noted that five main principles have guided the campus planning process since it commenced in July 2014: these principles, as outlined in the published expansion plan, include providing an integrated environment for teaching, living, learning, and research; enhancing the campus’s distinctive sense of place; fostering a welcoming and supportive setting that encourages interaction and exchange; creating a climate that encourages thoughtful approaches to sustainability; and serving communities that extend beyond the campus.
These five principles translate to the University’s five main goals for maintaining and renewing the central campus, enabling expansion of the undergraduate student body, expanding and enhancing engineering and environmental studies, cultivating community, and constructing a lake campus.