Task Force on Campus Facilities & the Environment
Chair, Members, Advisory, Liaison
Pieter Broucke, Chair
Clare O'Reilly '05
Lisa Ayers, advisory scheduling
Jen Nuceder, advisory scheduling
Maria Stadtmueller, advisory College Advancement
John Tenny, advisory from the Town of Middlebury
Mike Wakefield, co-liaison
Bob Huth, co-liaison
Charge to Task Force
The Task Force will also:
Blueprint for a Green College Community: Report of the Task Force on Campus Facilities and the Environment
Note: Each Task Force Report is a collection of background information, analyses, and recommendations that are submitted to the Planning Steering Committee and the President. Over the summer, the Steering Committee and the President will review and discuss all 15 sets of recommendations together in the context of the College's available resources.
Background and Context
In December 2004, Ron Liebowitz, President of the College, and John Emerson, Dean of Planning, asked the Task Force on Campus Facilities and the Environment to address the following questions:
• How can the college define and further develop a pedestrian campus to help achieve a lasting "green" and open physical campus?
• How can the college continue and strengthen its leadership with environmental initiatives (e.g. carbon reduction) and awareness, to enhance its reputation as "the environmental college"?
• How is our campus and physical plant likely to evolve over the next six or seven years?
• What adjustments to scheduling could enhance the utilization of our buildings and other facilities?
• What are the greatest pressures on buildings and facilities likely to be in, say, five years?
In addition, we were asked to consult with the Environmental Council and with Faculty Council since both councils have working groups on the Pedestrian Campus; and to identify opportunities for further cooperation between the College and the Town of Middlebury.
After considering its charges during the month of January, the task force organized these issues into a set of ultimate goals, pertaining to both the physical and the social environments. They are:
• A carbon-neutral campus (physical environment)
• An environmentally and culturally responsible stewardship of the college's physical landscape, buildings, and human capital (physical and social environments)
• A campus that promotes and engages the intellectual and social communities within and without, and that promotes sustainability, accessability, human interaction, and efficient and coordinated use of space (social environment)
To work towards these goals we reorganized the charges into five areas of inquiry:
1. A pedestrian campus
2. Environmental Leadership and Reputation
3. Needs of the Physical Campus in the Medium-Term Future
4. Scheduling Time Spaces and Programs
5. Cooperation with the Town of Middlebury: Opportunities and Recommendations
A Pedestrian Friendly Campus: Illustrative Recommendations
• Campus layout: Decrease the distances between most-user destinations by increasing the density of campus activity at the center of campus (classes, offices, dorms) in existing facilities and the addition of carefully sited and articulated new buildings, respecting the "open" and "green" character of the core campus.
• Bicycles: Increase the "yellow bike" program, provide more adequate, conveniently located, and visible exterior racks. Designate and promote bikeways on and off campus. Provide more promotional material viz. biking.
• Student vehicles: Create incentives to not have a car (e.g. connect not having a car on campus to room draw, assign lots for student cars,) and disincentives to having a car (satellite lots), and incentives to having fuel-efficient rather than fuel-inefficient cars.
Environmental Leadership: Illustrative Recommendations
Middlebury should continue to strengthen its environmental leadership in the following areas:
1)providing an exemplary education for our students that, through scholarship, research and applied experience spanning from local to global, will prepare them for a world in which environmental issues are embedded in every decision.
2)creating a better world based on principles of sustainability
3)building on our own knowledge base and then sharing these resources and models with others
4)broadening our scope of influence locally, nationally, and internationally
Middlebury College's tradition of environmental awareness formally began by establishing the first undergraduate Environmental Studies (ES) Program in the country, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Town/Gown Cooperation: Opportunities and Recommendations
We compiled the following brief set of recommendations.
• Maintain and cultivate an open dialog between the college and the town.
• Cultivate the college's citizenship: encourage the public use of college downtown properties (e.g., 77 Main Street, between the public library and Steele's).
• The college could helpfostering a sense of community within and connectedness towards the town.