Two years in the making, Dartmouth’s Strategic Master Plan is now available online and in a number of locations. Rather than authorizing specific projects, “Planning for Possibilities—Dartmouth’s Strategic Campus Framework” sets a course for campus preservation and development over the next three decades.
The strategic plan, last updated in 2002, provides a vision for sustainable development and preservation within Dartmouth’s historic 250-acre campus—including buildings, landscape, open spaces, and infrastructure. It also encompasses area real estate and other Dartmouth-owned land in New Hampshire, including at Mount Moosilauke, in Warren; the Second College Grant, in Errol; and property adjacent to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. The plan was adopted in November by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees.
“This comprehensive document provides a vision for growth and development that will continue to support our institution’s dynamic academic mission, while protecting and enhancing the sense of place that is so central to the Dartmouth experience,” says Director of Campus Planning Joanna Whitcomb.
Print copies of the plan are available at the Planning Office in the 4 Currier building and can be borrowed from Dartmouth Library’s Baker-Berry Library and municipal libraries in Hanover, Norwich, Lyme, West Lebanon, Lebanon, and Hartford.
Work on updating the master plan started in 2019. The new plan is the result of meetings with more than 2,500 Dartmouth community members and Upper Valley residents during more than a dozen events, including town hall presentations, open houses, and workshops. It also integrates the results of an online survey asking students, faculty, and staff about the ways they use the campus.
Whitcomb says the master plan is a tool that will guide Dartmouth’s leaders in making decisions.
“We will use this as a foundation to build on,” she says. “Whatever the next big project is, we have some really good ideas that have come up through our engagement with the community.”
The plan, will inform development initiatives already underway, addresses topics such as parking, traffic, housing, landscape, aesthetics, and climate change and resiliency. It was guided by eight principles developed during the community-engagement process. Those include supporting Dartmouth’s academic and research mission; promoting an inclusive and equitable environment for student life; preserving the character of the campus; advancing Dartmouth’s commitment to a sustainable and resilient future; enhancing connections between Dartmouth and downtown Hanover; and considering Dartmouth’s presence in the region.
Dartmouth’s partners on the plan included architects and planners at Beyer Blinder Belle, based in New York City, and landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, based in New York City and Cambridge, Mass.
“Taking a 30-year outlook has allowed the community to envision where Dartmouth is headed, preserving what is precious about the regional campus and its natural setting while preparing it for the needs and challenges of the future,” says Neil Kittredge, a partner at Beyer Blinder Belle.