Reed submits 10-year master plan to City of Portland
Document calls for size of student body to remain the same, but
100-150 more students would live on campus in new dorms
Reed College has submitted a proposed 10-year master plan to the City of Portland that reflects Reed's intention to build a center for the performing arts and expand the number of students residing on campus.
Those were two of the new initiatives that emerged from a year-long strategic planning exercise concluded last September, deliberations of a master planning committee appointed by President Colin Diver, and a series of open planning sessions eliciting the input of all campus constituencies - from trustees to neighborhood residents. Because of its residential location, Reed is required to file a plan with the city every 10 years. The last plan, approved in 2001, did not project the college's decision to purchase and raze Eastmoreland Hospital when the hospital closed its doors in 2004. That triggered the need for the new plan, which is accessible on the web at http://web.reed.edu/campusmasterplan/.
"The nature of the city's process calls for a broad document that speaks more to overall vision than specifics," said Edwin MacFarlane, vice president and treasurer. "In our case it deals with what parts of the campus will remain open space and where we might build and what impact that could have on traffic flow and parking, the environment, and so forth." Merely because a project is on the list "does not imply that a priority has been set for its realization or that funding is available for it," the document cautions. Specific goals cited in the plan signal Reed's hope to
- construct a "performing arts center with suitable space for theatre, dance, and music instruction, practice, support, storage, and performance;"
- build new residence halls and replace others, increasing the campus population by a net of 100-150 students and expanding a range of facilities necessary to serve and support the higher percentage of students living on campus;
- increase the number of classrooms and faculty offices to
accommodate curriculum expansion;
- replace the Greywood building housing the community safety office near the main entrance to campus and reconfigure the entrance to promote pedestrian access;
- add an infant-care facility for children of employees and students at a location to be determined;
- utilize Willard House on the corner of Woodstock Boulevard and Reed College Place – no longer usable as a faculty residence because of federal taxation policy – for now as office space for college fundraisers; and
- conduct "group gatherings, meetings, conferences, and related entertainment" at Parker House, an erstwhile residence across Woodstock from the campus that Reed has purchased and renovated. There is also space for up to three overnight guests in the house, which could serve as the residence of a future college president.
The college has said it will limit, regulate, and monitor activity at Parker House to reduce impacts on neighbors. Most of those who attend events at Parker House will walk to them, and anyone driving to an event will be instructed to park in a campus lot. The college will also make the house available to neighborhood organizations, such as school parents' associations, for occasional events provided that they, too, are protective of neighbors' privacy.
While many members of the community have praised Reed's purchase and restoration of the historic 1929 brick Arts and Crafts structure and its grounds – which had been unoccupied with no other buyers in sight when the college bought it in December 2004 – some residents continue to express concern that its new use could intrude on them despite assurances to the contrary. The college continues to meet with members of the board of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association to address these issues.