Master Plan spurs summer renovations

The former site of the College Center Chinese Magnolia, which the College cut down out of concerns for the safety of passing students. The space has now been filled with additional bike racks. Photo By: Josh Sherman
The former site of the College Center Chinese Magnolia, which the College cut down out of concerns for the safety of passing students. The space has now been filled with additional bike racks. Photo By: Josh Sherman
The former site of the College Center Chinese Magnolia, which the College cut down out of concerns
for the safety of passing students. The space has now been filled with additional bike racks. Photo By: Josh Sherman

While some Vassar students spent their summers on all sorts of things from Netflix marathons to summer classes, the Department of Buildings and Grounds here at Vassar was hard at work implementing elements of the Vassar College Master Plan.

The Vassar College Master Plan, a document regularly updated by a number of committees including the Campus Master Planning Committee, is a set of guidelines, principles and goals set by the committee to advise the President of the College on what projects to proceed with on campus. These projects include such as buildings to renovate, places for landscaping endeavors and investments for the College to make on-campus. As one would expect with a name like Buildings and Grounds, their department handles implementing the many construction, renovation and landscaping projects the Vassar College Master Plan advises on each year.

During the summer, two of the many projects that had taken place include both renovations to the library as well as changes the landscape around the College Center.

In the library the staff offices received new carpeting and an entirely new classroom in the basement. The new classroom finished just this past week hopes to accommodate the needs of classes and students looking for additional space.

“Considering I didn’t know about it before it’s definitely good to know that it’s there and I will have to go check it out,” another student, Cady Cirbes ‘16, said after hearing about the creation of this new space.

Some of the many changes to Vassar’s landscape that took place this summer include a number of new plantings around the campus, as well as the removal of the large cucumber magnolia tree that once found itself by the College Center patio.

According to the Manager of Grounds, Kevin Mercer, many of the landscape changes such as the addition and removal of plantings on campus were elements of the Vassar College Master Plan being put into place. “What we do is follow Master Planning’s Guidelines,” Mercer said.

According to Mercer, Buildings & Grounds needed to remove the cucumber magnolia safety reasons. “It came down in July and it was very sad,” Mercer said. He added that they had two arborists inspect the tree to confirm the need for removal.

Despite the loss of the magnolia, Mercer reassured that Buildings & Grounds continues to invest in maintaining Vassar’s beautiful landscape. “B&G has spent a lot of money pruning and keeping the trees we have healthy,” he said.

Vassar continues to invest funds into developing the many spaces we use here on campus, and these are just a few of the many changes the campus experienced during the months between May and September.

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