Campus Planning Firm Visits to Envision Long Term Changes at Andover

Clustered around an oversized campus map, students waited in line to place blue and red stickers to indicate their favorite and least favorite places on campus. On another table lay a map on which students were asked to place different stickers denoting where they went to study, spend time alone or hang out with friends, among various other activities.
These activities were part of a Master Campus Plan forum, which took place in the Mural Room in Paresky Commons on Wednesday night.

“We are asking [students] about [their] experience at [Andover] and we have a couple different ways we are doing that…We have these input boards that we hope will give us the input of the life of student at [Andover]…We are very interested in where [students] start and finish [their days], and the paths [they] take between those places. We’re interested how that changes by grade, from a ninth-grader to a 12th [grader],” said Eric Galipo, the project manager from Beyer Blinder Bell, Andover’s campus planning firm, during the event.

Galipo was one of the several representatives from the firm, whose goal on Wednesday’s visit was to seek student input for developing long term landscape changes, including buildings and paths, within Andover.

The opinion boards as well as student feedback indicated that Morse Hall was a priority for renovation.

“I hate Morse… It’s horrible, it’s old and dusty and always hot. The classrooms are really clunky. Renovation would make math a little less formidable because right now the tables are really cramped so I don’t even want to sit down because I’ll be constricted,” said Daniel Ulanovsky ’18 during the event.

Students who attended the forum said they felt their input could provide valuable insight for necessary changes on campus, such as more areas for studying and in which for day students to spend time during the day.

“For me, places like [the Community and Multicultural Development Office] and the library are really useful because I live in a far away dorm you can go there with your friends to hang out, and they are really useful to get work done in,” said JayShawn Fuller ’17.

Nancy Jeton, Special Assistant to the Head of School, said student involvement through this forum was essential as the campus planning is centered around students’ experience. She said that the focus of the Master Plan is to establish goals for the campus buildings’ environment and how people interact with it.

“The Master Plan is a piece of implementing the strategic plan, and we want it to be the best it can for the students, and the only people who can tell us that are the students. [Head of School John Palfrey] has made it clear that rejuvenating the athletic complex is an [immediate] goal of his, and we have just completed an athletic facility master plan,” said Jeton.

The renovations to the athletic facility will include a new field house with a squash center and an indoor track to replace the Cage and Smith Center, which will be torn down to build a new pool, said Jeton.

David Gutierrez ’15, Student Body Co-President, described the lack of resources that sports teams such as wrestling are currently experiencing, which would be improved through this renovation.

“Some groups feel that they need more space for stuff. The wrestling team and the dance team just switched their rooms so wrestling has to do their practice in the Smith Center. I’m sure they would like their own space because it’s huge and they have to always move the mats a lot. I think we need a reevaluation of how space is used on campus,” said Gutierrez.

Furthermore, he mentioned the current inefficiency of space use on campus as well as incorporating the Abbot Academy grounds into daily life.

“I think cluttering [is an issue that needs to be addressed]. Flagstaff is a prime cluster because the area is surrounded by activity. For students living in Abbot, [the distance is longer] so I think we should work on that. We have a lot of Abbot campus that we don’t use a lot and it would be interesting to use it in the future. I think that we should integrate it into the [Andover] campus because right now there is a separation between the two campuses,” said Gutierrez.

Although planning has already started, these facilities are a long-term goal to be accomplished within a decade, according to Jeton. Shorter-term changes on campus to give students the opportunity to interact with faculty outdoors include outside classrooms and picnic tables.