Campus Master Planners Invite Student Feedback

Campus Master Planners, a group in charge of the redesigning of Andover’s campus, held the “Campus and Cookies” event on Monday and Tuesday for students interested in creating or revising the school’s spaces. 

The Campus Master Planning Steering Committee was first commissioned by the Board of Trustees in 2016 to evaluate the school’s objectives for growth and change. Caroline Odden, Dean of Studies and a member of the Campus Master Plan Steering Committee, commented on the decision to reconsider the campus master plan after the renovation of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library and the construction of the Pan Athletic Center. 

“Several elements of the plan are complete or in process, and some projects have been initiated since 2016 that were not in the original plan. For a plan like this one, that spans over a long timeframe and has many components, it is appropriate to pause somewhere along the way to consider whether any of the priorities have changed,” said Odden in an email to The Phillipian

Nancy Jeton, former Chief of Staff who returned to work on this project, spoke to the current priorities of the Campus Master Planners. Jeton described how the goals are twofold: moving business offices to Graves Hall and opening up George Washington Hall (GW) for student clubs. 

“Now that the music department is about to move out of Graves Hall and into a new building, we get into another section of the Campus Master Plan, which we call a chess game. Certain uses started to move around campus because of the opportunity of a complete building becoming vacant, and being reused for something,” said Jeton.

Jeton continued by describing a potential consolidation of the Abbot Cluster, which currently includes many small dorms. 

“Trustees [also] want to begin to act on the cluster renewal process within the plan. The plan calls for equalizing the clusters, making sure that each cluster has an equitable opportunity for students. It calls for re-situating the Abbot campus by building three large dorms behind Graves Hall, and then re-situating the cluster more towards the center of campus than being sprinkled down School Street,” said Jeton.

The Campus Master Planners partnered with Flansburgh Associates, an architecture firm in Boston that has worked with many New England boarding schools. Paul Murphy, Instructor in Math and member of the Campus Master Planning Steering Committee, summarized the process of collaborating with Flansburgh Associates, who they have not previously worked with. 

“That decision was made by the Director of Facilities and the Associate Director, who met with three or four companies. Essentially, [we] put a request for proposals out to the architect world. [We said], ‘Andover is looking at its campus master plan, it wants to do this, this, and this.’ Then different companies bid on the project and the Director of Facilities and the Associate Director really liked [this company’s] ideas. They had some preliminary ideas [and] a sense of what you’d like to talk about, and also cost,” said Murphy.

Sakina Cotton ’24 attended both “Campus and Cookies” events after hearing about the possibility of relocating the Community and Multicultural Development (CaMD) office and some student clubs to GW. Cotton reflected on the possible relocation of student spaces. 

“In CaMD, we have this challenge of clubs wanting to use the space to have hard conversations or to have meetings about growth and learning. But also, throughout the day, it’s just where you come and hang out and have fun. Where’s the duality in that and what do we really want and what do we really need on campus? … There are [also] a whole bunch of places that people could just spend time [in], so do we really need a building for it [specifically] and how much will that help?” said Cotton.

More opportunities to engage with the program will take place in May and September, as Campus Master Planners finalize the locations of facilities. Larry Munuech, Director of Facilities, discussed the importance of the campus master plan and encouraged student feedback in the process. 

“It would be great to see more of the student body and hear their thoughts and ideas. Regarding the campus master plan, it’s an important roadmap to assist senior administration in decision-making. A campus master plan determines the physical decisions required to ensure the campus reflects and supports the [Andover] mission and values moving forward,” said Munuech in an email to The Phillipian.