Area near Poe Field identified as site of seventh residential college

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Program in Environmental Sciences to receive new buildings

Princeton has identified a potential location for the seventh residential college, the University reported Monday afternoon. According to the University Press release, a proposal located the new residential college south of Poe Field and east of Elm Drive. Currently, Poe Field serves as a practice and recreational area for various club sports and social events. The residential college will accommodate 125 students in each undergraduate class.

According to Vice President Bob Durkee, if this site is selected, the existing facilities for softball and outdoor tennis will be relocated.

The planning process also identified at the designated location a site for a second residential college if needed in future years. The recommended site is south of an open south near Butler, Wilson and Whitman colleges and directly across from the Roberts Stadium. According to the campus plan website FAQ, one of the perks of this residential college is it is adjacent to an open recreational space.

If the plan is approved, the University will move forward with recruiting an architect and fundraising, Durkee said. There are no plans yet for the naming of the college.

“It is much too early to be thinking about even the configuration or design of the college, much less its name,” Durkee said.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science and programs in environmental studies will also receive new buildings along Ivy Lane and Western Way. The 2016 University’s Strategic Planning document had called for an expansion of both academic programs, which also entails an increase in the number of faculty positions.

Much of this area is currently occupied by surface parking lots. The proposed site will also be adjacent to many eating clubs. However, this configuration would not pose any zoning issues as the area has been designated for education purposes, Durkee noted.

If the site is selected, construction of the new buildings may require the demolition of Ferris Thompson apartment and staff apartments upon assessment, Durkee said.

The tennis court and softball field, among other academic, residential, and recreational facilities, will be located to a currently vacant land in West Windsor. This land is currently across from Lake Carnegie.

If the lands south of the lake are developed, there could potentially be a number of people who would need to get back and forth each day, including athletes, Durkee said.

Hence, the planners have proposed a bridge for pedestrians, bikers and light vehicle drivers connecting campus lands north of the lake to campus lands south of the lake.

Durkee also noted that athletes may not have to travel extra distance during season.

“It might be helpful to think of it this way. Softball or tennis players now probably start practice by going to Caldwell to change, get treatment, etc. They then go from Caldwell to the current softball or tennis facilities, then go back to Caldwell, and then go to their next destination. With the bridge, the distance between Caldwell and the new facilities would likely not be very different from the distance between Caldwell and the existing facilities,” he said.

Additionally, Durkee said that he expects that there will be a number of recommendations in the final planning framework to address any transportation needs that are identified.

Students are encouraged to submit comments on the campus planning website or the Urban Strategies blog. Campus planning will also be a topic of discussion in the May CPUC meeting.


Princeton University