News of the College May 2004

New opportunities arise as the campus grows

The college acted swiftly when in January the closure of Eastmoreland Hospital, whose grounds abut Reed’s campus on the north and west sides, was reported in the local news. President Diver obtained the approval of the executive committee of Reed’s board of trustees to bid for the property, and Reed College became the new owner of the seven-plus acres of land and buildings on February 12. Current operating reserves were used to complete the $5.2 million purchase.

President Diver said, “We are lucky and very pleased indeed to have been able to act on this opportunity for Reed. This acquisition is an important addition to the college’s amenities—a way eventually to increase and improve our facilities and services, to become even more attractive to prospective students, provide better support for current students and the academic program generally, and increase our service to the community.”

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While there are no plans to increase the size of the student body, the college has been experiencing unprecedented demands on its physical spaces. Reed is retaining more students than ever, offering more student- and faculty-driven activities and programs, and attracting more of the Portland community to campus. More students wish to live on campus and cannot be accommodated, parking capacity is overwhelmed during large events, and classroom, office, and meeting spaces are strained.
There are no specific plans for the new land as yet, but a committee chaired by vice president and dean of student services Mary Catherine King, with the help of consultants including a land use planner, is considering the opportunities it may present for student housing. A new committee will plan more generally beginning in the fall, modifying the campus master plan to incorporate the new acreage and identify potential uses. In the meantime, Reed is fulfilling its obligations as landlord to a medical group and several physicians who maintain long-term office leases on the grounds of the hospital.

Reed community members in need of urgent medical care are now directed to neighboring hospitals; the nearest emergency room is about three miles from campus. Eastmoreland Hospital had struggled in recent years and apparently could not sustain its operations. The latest in a succession of short-term owners, a Nashville-based, for-profit hospital management company, was near bankruptcy. A group of physicians made, but then withdrew, an offer on the property, and the path was laid for an addition to Reed that can help it be more supportive and valuable to all of its constituencies, as the college’s needs continue to evolve. End of Article


 

   
Reed Magazine May 2004
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