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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Facilities Committee Outlines Future Construction Projects

<rleton Facilities Master Plan contains a number of provisions that will impact residential life at Carleton.

These include the potential repurposing of Parish House as a music building, moving SHAC to a new space and reclaiming Davis Hall for residences, as well as possibly adding more independent living units on Union and College Streets to compensate for rooms lost in the repurposing of Parish House. Furthermore, some existing interest houses and townhouses, such as Farm House, may undergo construction resulting in structural expansion and/or replacement with new houses.

The Facilities Master Planning Committee formed in February 2013, with the core committee co-headed by biology professor Fernàn Jaramillo and vice president Fred Rogers. Their processes of deliberation, analysis of the campus topography, and subsequent formulation of a plan took over a year, culminating this past February in presentations to both the Carleton faculty and Board of Trustees, as well as in a presentation released to the public this month.

Final approval by the Board of Trustees will come in May.

The Committee’s decision to move SHAC to a more spacious location was praised by CSA President Becca Giles.

“I think the need for mental health services at Carleton is growing, and will continue to grow – not because we’re all slowly going insane (though I might be) – but because more people are reaching out for help when they need it, which is awesome.

“In my opinion, Carleton should do everything it can to support students’ psychological and emotional needs; relocating, expanding, and increasing funding for SHAC is a huge part of that.”

Giles did, however, have some concerns about the potential replacement of some existing townhouses and interest houses.

“I’m afraid students will lose some of the magic of being in college (part of which comes from living in old, grungy houses and learning how to fend for yourself) by being forced into more sterile, regulated environments. To be clear, I don’t think the administration is trying to suck the life out of Carleton, far from it. I just think administrators approach housing from a very different angle than students do, and I want to make sure students’ voices are heard. I want administrators to know that places like Farm House have a spirit about them that places like Colwell never will.”

The plan does, however, represent a “strong discussion” among the committees, according to Rogers. Furthermore, he added that “we needed to have a plan,” and expressed satisfaction that the plan is feasible and has tried to incorporate input from all areas within Carleton.

Giles concurred, asserting that the Committee “actively tried to balance the needs of all members of the Carleton Community.”  

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