Earlier this week, Dartmouth officials said they would provide the community with a revised concept for housing north of campus on Lyme Road in June. The news prompted questions about the scale and scope of the revisions, how they would be shared, and what the campus community could expect next.
The housing project will provide undergraduates with a more independent, apartment-living option, something planners say students have requested.
“Over the past several months, we reconsidered multiple aspects of the housing proposals: site selection, programming and design character that honor Dartmouth’s history and sense of place, type of housing, flexibility, and the context for how this proposal fits into our long-term space planning needs,” says Executive Vice President Rick Mills.
“While we have a timely and urgent need to address the campus housing conditions, we took a step back to ensure that our approach built on the outstanding work of the strategic master plan,” he added, referring to the Planning for Possibilities (PDF) campus framework.
Dartmouth intends to share housing proposals next month through a variety of briefings for faculty and staff, students, and community members, with additional in-person and virtual meetings planned to follow in July and August.
“We expect to present a fully formed concept for housing that allows us to provide high-quality apartment-style housing that meets the student demand for more independent and flexible living options for undergraduates while we renovate existing residence hall space and create a longer-term capacity for graduate students,” says Mills. “Taking advantage of in-person meetings and virtual meeting and engagement tools, we hope to solicit feedback on design, programming, and other elements of the proposal. This will ensure that we can continue to move forward in a time-sensitive way on this important strategic priority.”
“Dartmouth students have been waiting for improved housing conditions for too long and further delay only prolongs the status quo,” says Dean of the College Scott C. Brown. “I’m optimistic we can find a workable solution.”
In its updated proposal, planners will provide additional context on long-term plans for the area north of campus that will allow for thoughtful growth of future academic and residential needs. The updated proposal will continue to maintain access to public open spaces and enhance continued recreational opportunities and will lay out a process for moving forward, budget, and timelines.
“To get this this point, we have considered a number of options that meet our long-term housing needs,” says Josh Keniston, vice president for campus services and institutional projects. “During the predevelopment phase, project budgets give us estimated ranges to help us weigh options. As we enter the more detailed planning and preconstruction phase, we will engage in a more specific estimating process, develop project timelines, and finalize design and material plans.”
Mills says that when the plans are presented, “it will be clear to our community and our neighbors in Hanover that we have carefully integrated their feedback.”
“At the same time, we hope that additional suggestions and observations will help us refine and finalize not only the physical plans but a variety of strategies for ensuring that we maintain Dartmouth’s commitment to its distinctive residential culture through a variety of programming, and community-gathering features,” he says.