A new campus entrance on 10th Street opened Tuesday. The new entrance is the first part of an initiative to restructure the campus over the next couple of decades.When President Rebecca Stoltzfus was appointed to a second term last spring, she proposed a master plan to improve the college in four areas. Her goals include improving campus boundaries, livening the heart of campus, expanding the health and science departments and providing more academic programs for students.
The master plan, which was approved by the board of directors, will cost $76 million, most of which will come from donations and grants.
“I’m really excited about [the changes],” President Stoltzfus said. “Before, there wasn’t really a plan that was approved.”
The new entrance on 10th Street is part of the project to improve the campus’ boundaries. The entrance on 9th Street is a safety hazard because of its proximity to the train tracks, and the railway company has asked that it be put out of use as part of the silent zone initiative currently underway in Goshen.
Work on the new entrance began last summer when a house on College Avenue was torn down to clear the path. The final steps, such as installing stop signs and getting the site approved by the civil engineer who designed it, happened early this week.
The new entrance will affect traffic patterns on campus, Cynthia Good Kaufmann, interim director of facilities and director of events, said.
She warned that pedestrians walking past the Physical Plant to and from the music center will need to get used to vehicles crossing their path. “A lot of people travel that sidewalk and you’re just not used to thinking about traffic right there.”
Students, faculty and staff can expect other changes on campus in the next 20 or so years.
One change will include the addition of a new health department building where Coffman Hall is currently located.
“One of the biggest drivers for [the master plan] is our nursing program,” President Stoltzfus said.
Pre-health majors are currently located in Wyse Hall and there isn’t enough space for labs, explained Ann Vendrely, vice president of academic affairs.
With the health department in its new home, Wyse Hall will be freed up for the English department, which will be relocated out of the Newcomer Center.
The Westlawn Dining Hall will not miss out on the renovations. The dining area and kitchen will both be remodeled.
For now, Good Kaufmann’s priority is cleaning up and landscaping the area around the new entrance. She is also thinking about ways to redesign the area by Coffman Hall once the railroad crossing there is blocked.
“We’re working on a concept for how [to design it] so that lawnmowers can still get across but not vehicles,” she said. “If anyone wants to submit their ideas and designs, that’d be great.”