Plan approved by Board of Trustees in October
11/6/2008 9:12:21 AM
The following article was published by the Lynchburg News & Advance on Nov. 6, 2008. It is reprinted with permission.
By Christa Desrets
Published: November 5, 2008
New residence halls, a sports and recreation building, a welcome center and a new Maier Museum make up the backbone of Randolph College’s newly adopted 10-year facilities master plan.
As the college plans to grow its residential student population from 600 to 1,100 in the coming decade, it expects to spend more than $100 million on campus improvements.
The school’s board of trustees approved the plan but no dollar amount in late October. The suggested improvements have not yet gone before the city for approval.
“We have a tradition of a beautiful campus, and we wanted to make sure that we maintain that beauty and, in fact, enhance it,” President John Klein said. “And I think the plan goes a long way to do that.”
Professor Rick Barnes, chair of the facilities master plan steering committee, said the plan aims to look at the implications of projected student growth on the academic, athletic and residential aspects of campus.
“We’re going to have to grow in each of these,” while also efficiently using existing spaces on campus, he said.
School officials estimate that in today’s dollars, the total cost for improvements would exceed $100 million, but Klein said that an exact figure will depend on a number of factors.
“We still need to talk about priorities and costs and the design of particular elements,” Klein said. “There will be further steps. This was really just to have us have an overall look.”
He said the school, which has an endowment of $153 million, likely will fundraise for much of the cost, and possibly borrow for some, too.
Barnes said the timeline for completing projects will be based on enrollment.
As they become necessary, for example, four new 100-bed, apartment-style residence halls would be built. They’re slated for a ridge toward the back of campus, where the Maier Museum currently stands.
A new one-story Maier Museum would be constructed on the front lawn of the campus, Barnes said, and built into the hill along Rivermont Avenue so that the roof of the building is level with the sidewalk.
“The planners tell us there is enough room there to put a building that is twice the size of the current Maier,” he said.
To add aesthetic value and address stormwater retention needs, the plan proposes the installation of a pond near the new Maier.
Also new to campus would be a sports and recreation building behind Main Hall, where a boiler room and parking lot currently stand.
Just inside the school’s main entrance would stand a new welcome center with admissions offices and classrooms.
The plan calls for an expansion to the Martin Science Building, including more laboratories connected by a glass atrium.
Parking also would be added along the edges of campus.
“Part of the goal of the master plan is to make the core of campus more pedestrian friendly,” Barnes said, “and move the parking to the periphery.”
Renovations also are planned for the dining hall, Lipscomb Library and a Student Center in Main Hall.
Infrastructure improvements would be made to heating, cooling and electrical systems.
To complement the facilities plan, students have been working on a unique “green” master plan, which aims to make the campus more sustainable.
“That’s one of the key things that we wanted to do,” said sophomore Karl Sakas, who also is on the steering committee.
“A lot of students are just ama
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