The board of trustees reviewed the Campus Enhancement Plan (CEP) report at the October 2014 meeting. The CEP report was published by the Campus Planning Committee and Derck & Edson Associates.
The current goal is to generate excitement, sustained energy, and creative campus development through small projects completed within one to five years.
The projected outcomes include improved campus aesthetics, increased application rates and student retention rates, and enhanced student interactions on campus.
Cost, complexity, impact and urgency were the four major factors used to prioritize the multiple projects within each category.
Legacy projects have higher upfront costs ($800,000 – $25 million) that would need to be funded by fundraising campaigns. The Legacy projects include renovating Rosenkrans Hall, creating a new Athletics and Recreation center, expanding the Dining Hall, relocating the VMT building, expanding the Equestrian program and improving the current Riddle and South Residence Halls.
Capital projects are funded through capital improvement funds. The Capital projects include moving the main entrance, creating the Commons, improving transportation connections between campus and the outlying facilities, relocating Harmony Cottage, adding parking, replacing the Conococheague bridge and repurposing the pool into an Arts Center.
Operational projects are priority projects capable of being funded by the college operation and maintenance budget. The Operational projects include adding outdoor recreation opportunities, conducting an ADA study, performing a safety and lighting study, painting the Alumni House, enhancing the Admissions entrance hall, relocating the disc golf course and installing card swipes to improve campus security.
The first project to be completed will be the relocation of the main entrance from the current Philadelphia Avenue entrance to the Park Avenue entrance. The Philadelphia Avenue entrance is extremely dangerous and difficult for visitors to access.
The lack of campus signs and distinctive fencing makes locating the campus entrance difficult.
The creation of the commons is the second project following the relocation of the main entrance. The commons will be an attractive quad bracketed by Warfield Hall, the John Stewart Memorial Library, the Harry R. Brooks Complex for Science, Mathematics and Technology and Lortz Hall. The current parking lot adjacent to the Science Center will be removed to expand the new main entrance roadway and will provide the space needed to create the commons.
New signs and hedges will be added along the campus edges at the Norland Avenue and Edgar Avenue corner and Philadelphia Avenue bend to create a defined campus border. The estimated cost to create the Commons is $600,000 – $800,000. The complete 102 page report is available on the Wilson Portal for campus assessment.
The first step towards enhancing Wilson College is funded by a Multimodal Transportation Fund grant for $465,429. The grant is a public-private partnership with the Borough of Chambersburg to provide new sidewalks and curbs at the main entrance. The grant is solely for improving the sidewalks to increase pedestrian safety.
“This is an exciting project and we greatly appreciate the support we have received from Senator Alloway and the Borough of Chambersburg…” said President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M. in an interview with the Record Herald.