The campus master planning team from Sasaki Associates returned to Colgate’s campus on Monday to provide an overview of what they learned from the data collected through the MyCampus Interactive Survey, the Faculty/Staff Adjacency Survey and the information-gathering sessions held earlier this fall. In three forums that were open to all faculty, staff and students throughout the day, the team presented their findings.
“I was very pleased with all three of the forums,” Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer of the University David Hale said. “Attendance was strong and while I wish there were more students who participated, the inquiries and commentary from students throughout the day were excellent.”
Hale, who is Chair of the CampusMaster Planning Committee, felt that the open gatherings with members of the Sasaki team and Colgate community were productive towards the larger cause of the master plan.
“These sessions are incredibly valuable to the Sasaki team and to members of the Campus Master Planning Committee,” Hale said. “Much of the commentary from meeting participants generally affirmed Sasaki’s sense of the campus and the Colgate facilities.”
When analyzing the outcomes of the three sessions, Hale noted that specific issues both did and did not provoke outward commentary from community members.
“I was somewhat surprised by the consistent refrain of meeting participants that Colgate must address vehicle and pedestrian pathways on campus,” Hale said. “There appears to be consensus that our campus can be quite challenging for pedestrians given not only the obvious challenges of weather and topography but also because vehicular and pedestrian pathways are often in conflict with one another. I was also pleasantly surprised that there appeared to be support for Sasaki’s preliminary idea that not every square inch of open land on campus has to be constantly mowed and manicured.”
In the following month the team from Sasaki will return to campus to share their preliminary planning ideas through another series of meetings and open sessions.
“Using feedback gathered today and the data collected during the fall semester, Sasaki will begin developing long-term campus planning options for the community to consider,” Hale said. “The first round of ideas will be shared with the community during forums to be held during the last week in March. We hope to have a preliminary draft of the new master plan in place by the conclusion of the spring semester.”
Sophomore Katie Williams, who is a member of the master planning committee, felt that the sessions were very successful and got peoples’ attention.
“The turnout [on Monday was] a lot better than in the past,” Williams said. “People are starting to pay attention to what we on the committee have been doing.”
Williams explained how Sasaki has broken down their data findings as well as incorporated differing aspects of the community into their analysis and project ideas.
“[Sasaki] has really worked to collect the data and overlay it with components that are administrative, specific to student life versus residential life and more,” Williams said. “They’ve also been able to compare their findings to different universities in our playing field to get a better sense of what would be good for Colgate.”
When the Sasaki team returns to campus in March, Williams explained that what they will present will be more tangible, by way of models and designs for the actual proposals within the master plan.
“The team from Sasaki has been working on piecing together how they want to manifest all the data they have collected, and so now they are going to start coming up with the designs,” Williams said. “The committee has been directly working with them for so long, but when they return in March it will be the most tangible thing for people outside of that sphere of influence to see and start to understand what all of this is working towards.”
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