BETH HANSON, News Editor
The Commission for Space Use Planning (CSUP) recently released their initial draft recommending “priorities,” projects that they believe the Beloit College campus would benefit from funding. The draft detailed six different types of priorities.
The first section of the draft focused on “Classrooms and third spaces that showcase Beloit College’s traditions while advancing 21st-century learning.” Such spaces include auditoriums (Richardson, Wilson, Morgan) and classrooms, particularly in the World Affairs Center, Smith and South College. CSUP found that the auditoriums needed better audiovisual equipment and redesign. Suggestions for WAC include renovating basement offices into at least three state-of-the-art classrooms. CSUP suggests that the art department be moved from Smith to South College, with “some combination of literature programs” moving into Smith.
Section two outlined a desire for “An activities and recreation complex that meets multiple programmatic needs.” CSUP believes a new activities and recreation center would enhance campus life and be attractive to prospective students. Suggestions for the recreation center include a health center, an auditorium/theatre and a 24-hour computer lab.
“Pearsons as the hub of academic and student affairs, combining an attractive south-end dining and gathering spot for students, faculty, and staff with a cohesive suite of administrative offices” was the topic of the third section. CSUP suggests extensive renovations including expanding DK’s and conjoining it with Moore Lounge; reconfiguring first-floor entries; re-designating Java Joint, Hales Gallery and the computer lab; and potentially relocating Academic Affairs, TRiO and LAPC to Pearsons and Financial Aid to Middle College.
The fourth section’s topic was “New urban options for upper-class students and enhanced common areas in north end student residences.” CSUP thinks it “worthwhile” to pursue a 45-50 bed student residence downtown. Of existing student residences, CSUP suggests either renovating 609 or demolishing it to remove the barrier between academic and residential ends of campus. Another suggestion is to look into evaluating north-end residences such as 819 Clary St. (currently Kappa Delta), 905 Church St. (Peace and Justice House) and 910 Park Ave.
“More appealing borders, front and back porches” was the topic of the fifth section. CSUP suggests improving borders such as the Pleasant St. pathway to downtown and highlighting the south entry of the college with a redesign and better signage. Under front porches, CSUP recommends making the first floor of Middle College handicap accessible and moving the president to Gage House. In Eaton Chapel, CSUP suggests removing the pews and improving heating and cooling mechanics.
The sixth and final section addressed the upcoming acquisition of Emerson Hall Apartments. CSUP suggested three uses for the building when it is reacquired in 2016. The first option is to turn the building into a charter school; the second, to return the building to a student residence; and, the third, to use it as an alternative site for Physical Plant and the print shop.
Last week, the campus community was invited to submit feedback on the ideas suggested in the draft.
Provost and Dean of the College Ann Davies said, “We’re measuring people’s reactions to the proposal, partly emphasizing again that the recommendation is broad-based.”
CSUP will likely have a final report turned in to President Bierman this week. From there, Bierman will decide what the next steps will be.
“We will probably engage an architect or planning firm and then have a second round of planning,” Davies said.