News of the College November 2004

Master Plan Committee to consider new acreage, old acreage

campus aerial shot

A committee comprising faculty and staff members, trustees, and students is set to begin deliberations regarding the college’s physical structure. President Diver has charged the Master Plan Committee to examine the 1990 Reed College Campus Facilities Master Plan, which was updated in 2001 and approved by the City of Portland, the newly enlarged campus grounds, and the college’s facilities needs, and recommend changes for consideration by the board of trustees.

Last year’s acquisition of the adjacent Eastmoreland Hospital property has prompted the revisiting of the master plan. The hospital building, which was found to be unsuited to any practical college use, is being demolished, and the area will be graded and seeded until a use is determined. (Surrounding medical office buildings are to remain for the foreseeable future.) Based on the college’s current and anticipated needs, the committee will propose uses for these seven-plus acres, as well as potential new or enhanced uses for other parts of the Reed campus. Guiding their examination will be recent reports and input, as well as long-term planning issues:

  • The Residential Enhancement Report, submitted last year by the Ad Hoc Committee on Residentiality to propose new student housing. The report’s proposed additions would raise the number of beds on campus sufficiently to satisfy current unmet demand.
  • Input from the Reed community on preferred facility improvements, solicited by President Diver.
  • Traffic, circulation, parking, and transportation management requirements as well as 10-year improvement plans.

The committee also will consider parallel activities under way this year, including a historical inventory of the campus and its buildings that will be the basis of a heritage plan for Reed’s historic architecture and landscaping. This effort is funded by a Campus Heritage Grant from the J. Paul Getty Trust (see article about the grant).

An essential starting point for the committee will be to update the current master plan’s assumptions, guiding principles, and criteria for establishing improvement priorities. Development of new acreage, and new or enhanced uses for existing acreage, will be considered with equal care. For example, the current dedication of more than two acres on the north campus to a Community Garden—operated by the City of Portland, co-managed by gardener-neighbors, and worked by some Reed community members—will be weighed against other potential uses that could benefit students, the academic program, and the larger community. The college has allowed the city’s parks department to use the garden space for nearly 40 years. But the site now occupies a much more central location on the newly enlarged campus, and land use pressures have increased accordingly.

It is with the tasks of “evaluating needs, anticipating future ones, and weighing many, sometimes competing priorities” that the new Master Plan Committee is charged, says committee member and Reed vice president Edwin McFarlane. The committee will report progress to the Reed community and the board of trustees throughout the academic year, and the board will consider its proposals in June 2005. End of Article

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Reed Magazine November 2004
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