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Campus Plan Update
The development of the Colby Green, the most significant feature of the new campus masterplan, represents the most important campus transformation since the Larson plan for Mayflower Hill was developed beginning in 1930 and realized in phases over the next 30 years. In the coming years this new part of campus will be developed on the east side of Mayflower Hill Drive as an extension and completion of Miller Lawn. The Green will be a major campus open space as well as the site of three new buildings---an alumni and development building, a social sciences building, and a science building.
The Green is modeled on a town common and designed to complete and complement the magnificent building lined lawn that steps down from the library in terraces to Mayflower Hill Drive. Buildings will be clustered around a defined but somewhat informal space perpendicular to the existing lawn. They will make significant use of Colby brick but also use other materials as well as they respond to each other and to Larson's balance and harmony. The view toward Waterville and the Camden hills beyond will, of course, remain open. The green embodies the notion of an inclusive campus that respects the past and looks toward an evolving future that will require a connected but diverse community and expanded openness to a difficult and varied world.
In addition to the Green, the plan calls for location of a music instruction and performance building east of Mayflower Hill Drive facing Runnals Union, home of Strider Theater. This building will complete a performing arts quadrangle, along with Foss-Woodman and Mary Low-Coburn residence halls and will bring order and beauty to what is now a large parking area.
As we expand eastward, we also will need to address the problem of traffic on Mayflower Hill Drive and Armstrong Road. We are working with the city and state to develop a bypass to the north of campus, behind the Alfond Athletic Complex, that will connect North Street with Washington Street and significantly reduce the quantity and speed of traffic on campus, making Colby more pedestrian-friendly.
The key new campus features will be supported by improved infrastructure. In the long run the plan adds new parking spaces and places them where they are most needed. It continues the trend of the last few years to move all but handicapped parking outside the core of campus but within reasonable walking distance. The goal is for new lots to be divided into sections and landscaped attractively.
The Green will be constructed in phases. Beginning in fall 2003, the landscape of the Green will be built, including the arcing landform, new drives and parking areas, as well as the infrastructure of utilities and services for the new buildings. As the Green takes shape, the first building project - the Alumni and Development Building--will begin, probably in the spring of 2004 if fund raising has been completed.
The planting of the Green will soon follow. Over time, a canopy of shade trees, along with specimen evergreen trees, an understory of flowering trees such as crabapples and cherries, and drifts of flowering shrubs will be developed, creating a constantly changing landscape for all seasons. Even before construction of the two new academic buildings which will follow the Alumni and Development building, the Green will be a draw for the entire campus and a striking completion of Miller Lawn.
For the Campus Planning Group,
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