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Board narrows list of possible sites for sixth residential college

The trustees have ruled out the Graduate College and Poe Field as possible locations for the sixth residential college proposed in the Wythes Committee Report, University Trustee Paul Wythes '55 said yesterday.

The University hired an architectural planning firm to evaluate possible locations for the sixth college after the Wythes report was made public in January. The firm presented its initial findings to the trustees Saturday in an extended interim report, according to Vice President and Secretary Thomas Wright '62.


The interim report included approximately eight possible locations for a new residential college, according to Wythes. The trustees discussed the eight possibilities, selecting four for the architectural planning firm to pursue further, he added.

After meeting with undergraduates, the trustees decided that Poe Field should no longer be considered a possible construction site, Wright said. "They consider the south fields beyond Scully to be sacrosanct — that is, something to be kept," he explained.

Student input also persuaded the board of trustees to rule out the Graduate College as a possible location, according to Wright. "[The trustees] believe the Graduate College would not be a good location," he said. "It was both unwanted by the undergraduates and graduate students. The trustees feel they shouldn't look into it further."

The locations still under consideration are the areas south of Dillon Gym, west of Poe Field along Elm Drive, north of Forbes and north of McCarter Theater, according to Wythes.

The most likely spot for construction, according to Wright, is the area south of Dillon Gym and west of the tennis courts. One possibility would be to build "not just on the path, but construct a building that would go down the west side of the tennis courts next to Spelman," Wright said. "It would snake north-south like Little. They could also slip some buildings next to it."

Wright noted that a full residential college could not be constructed in that area. Rather, he explained, the University will most likely use several different locations instead of one large site.


"The concept is to build not just on one site," he said. "There isn't one place where all 500 students will be put. Most likely, a new college will use existing buildings as well as new ones."

The new residential college may incorporate nearby buildings that are currently upperclass housing, Wright said, adding that "then we could build new dormitory space for upperclassmen."

"If you were to build part of a college in the area [south of Dillon], a possibility would be to incorporate Patton in it," Wright said. "Another possibility, that is less pleasing, would be to incorporate Pyne."

In exploring the sites for possible construction, the trustees are trying to maintain open space on campus, Wythes said. "I think that the trustees are very concerned with what we call 'backfill' — the filling in of little open spaces here and there," he added.

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Another concern of the trustees is minimizing the amount of construction on campus, Wright said. "It's a tradeoff. Students will love the renovated buildings like Little and Blair," he said. "But I'm sure students who live near Blair find it difficult to deal with all the construction."

The trustees will consider possible locations for the residential college in more depth during their May meeting, Wright said, adding that they are not expected to make any definite commitments.