Goshen College’s campus could have a new entrance by next spring.The proposed project, which is steadily moving through the approval process with the City of Goshen, would open an entrance at 10th St. and College Ave.
The Goshen Plan Commission has recommended approval of the plans to the city council which suggests that the project will soon have full approval. The construction stage is dependent on weather and the contractor’s schedule, but it could start before Christmas. The goal is to have the entrance open by next spring.
The driving factor to complete the new entrance is the neighborhood Quiet Zone project.
Deanna Risser, vice president for finance, said the Quiet Zone is a “project with the goal of improving railroad crossing safety and reducing the need for the trains to blow their horns at every RR crossing as the train passes through town.”
The Quiet Zone project was developed in 2012 and has been progressively implemented since then.
As a part of Goshen College’s plan the Ninth Street entrance to campus by the Physical Plant will be closed and the railroad barriers will be improved to discourage people from driving around the crossing arms. This allows the train engineers to operate safely without the need to sound the horn.
Another goal for the project is to make campus entrances more clear and distinctive.
Credo, a campus planning consulting firm that has been working with Goshen College, found that campus signage and entry points were unclear. This project should help campus entrances to stand out and be more clearly accessible to visitors arriving on campus.
The changes shouldn’t have a large effect on campus itself.
The Physical Plant entrance that is being closed will be replaced by one on the other side of the parking lot. The entrance on the west side of the railroad tracks by 9th St. and Coffman Hall will remain open as well.
The new entrance will connect with the interior campus road in between the Physical Plant and the Music Center. This runs as an extension of 10th St. and will require the demolition of one of the campus owned rental houses on College Ave.
“The major challenges with this project have been finalizing the location and plans after input from various groups on campus, finding funding for the project in the budget, and working through the approval process with the engineering company and the City of Goshen,” Risser said.