Pres. Wright reports to faculty

by Nathaniel Ward | 10/30/01 6:00am

The College will move ahead with plans to develop the campus north of Maynard Street, but the construction of a Tuck Mall residence hall will likely be delayed indefinitely, President James Wright said in his annual address to the faculty yesterday.

Of the many planned projects, the most ambitious is the development of the northern section of campus -- the new facilities are expected to include housing for over 500 undergraduates, a dining facility and public social spaces.

"Dartmouth is a residential community," Wright said, and the new housing facilities are designed to help more students live on campus by alleviating the housing crunch.

But the Tuck Mall undergraduate housing project will probably be put on hold. According to Wright, this is because College planners have "focused on our basic needs and are thinking more strategically about ways to advance them." Resources from that development will be redistributed in a "consolidated and more efficient way" to the Maynard site.

The residence halls and adjoining social spaces are designed to advance the Student Life Initiative by providing students with room for studying and recreation.

Kemeny Hall, the future home of the Mathematics department, will also be a major part of the northern cluster. This building will occupy what is currently Bradley Court.

In addition, Dartmouth must "build a parking structure to handle the volume of traffic that comes to campus every day," Wright said.

Renovations to the heating plant and the electrical systems are other infrastructure improvements that are "critical to our success," he added.

Construction is already active at several sites on campus, including Carson Hall, the new home of the history department, which will occupy the former Kiewit Computing Center space on the west side of Berry.

Another project that, according to Wright, "bridges the arts and sciences and professional schools" through interdisciplinary programs will result in a building adjacent to Kemeny Hall.

Wright assured the faculty that "the resources for this project are available" and that construction on the interdisciplinary building will begin soon.

A Life Sciences building, to be shared by undergraduates and students at the medical school, is currently in the planning stages.

Renovation is needed in Alumni Gymnasium and in Thayer Dining Hall, Wright said. Dartmouth's arts programs have also "outlived" their space, and Wright said that the College has begun a "preliminary architectural study" for upgrades to arts facilites.

Wright promised that repairs in those buildings and in classrooms around campus would proceed with minimal disruption to students.

The president was upbeat about the future changes to campus, but he cautioned that any plans are liable to cost "many millions of dollars."

In an effort to alleviate the costs of growth, the College is "seeking resources that will allow us to proceed with [the projects] in a timely manner," Wright said.

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