On March 10th, Goucher announced Undaunted, a new fundraising campaign to raise $100 million. A large portion of this campaign is dedicated to raising funding for new construction projects. There will be no major construction of buildings during the fall semester of next year (Fall 2018), but the new tennis center will be under construction. Both the first year village and the new campus dining hall are on track for completion in August 2018, while several other projects are in the works.
The First Year Village will feature a gaming lounge, a rehearsal space, a student success center, a demonstration kitchen, and an outdoor courtyard with tiered seating, a gas fireplace, and spaces for hammocks. The courtyard amenities in the First Year Village were inspired in part by a student workshop on creating community spaces. The new buildings are part of an initiative to prevent isolation and increase social interaction through the design of buildings. (See P-Selz article on page 5).
The new dining hall opening in Mary Fisher will have a retail and a to-go area on the first floor and six stations on the second floor which will be all-you-care-to-eat dining, including a pizza oven and Mongolian grill. There will also be a Kosher station; rather than being a separate space as it is currently, Kosher will be integrated with the main dining hall. There will also be a small reservable dining room in Mary Fisher. (See Dining Hall article on page 1 for more details).
With the re-opening of Mary Fisher, the Gopher Hole will return and the dining halls in Stimson and Huebeck will be converted into student spaces. In general, there will be many more spaces on campus available next semester for student meetings and performances.
Counseling Services will also be moving to new, larger, facilities on the third floor of Mary Fisher, along with Case Management (See article on Counseling Center on pg. 2).
This summer, there are a couple smaller projects planned for Van Meter that will be funded in part by capital renewal funds. A tiered seating classroom in Van Meter will be converted into a recording studio (with funding by the Sherman Fairchild Grant and Academic funding from the capital renewal budget) and a student hub/gathering space will be created on the first floor of Van Meter, in the location of the fishbowl classroom across from the Writing Center.
Construction for the new science addition to Hoffberger Science Center is slated to begin June 2019, with possible completion date in 2021. The new Tennis Center, featuring 12 new tennis courts, stadium seating, and new lighting, will also be underway, thanks to a generous donation from 100-year-old alumna Evelyn Dyke Schroedl ’62.
Goucher will be relocating the equestrian program to facilities on the back part of campus, around and including the area of the old equestrian fields. The plans for the facility include building two new barns for the varsity team and a barn for broader use. The plans include classroom space, indoor and outdoor arenas, and a residential cottage for the equestrian center residential staff person. Goucher is also partnering with the state of Maryland to bring the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to Goucher. Their facility which is planned to be in a reclaimed local banker barn, and it will include a museum, an office space, and an archive for the Maryland Horse Breeders.
The project will require the removal of a number of trees. The college has surveyed the area for “specimen trees,” meaning trees are particularly unique or old, and will attempt to keep as many of them as possible, although it is unlikely that they will be able to keep all of them.
The project will occur over the course of three years, in part because two years are needed for the grass to grow. According to a study of the Maryland horse industry, cited by Goucher’s “In the Loop,” Maryland horse farming brings in more than $1.15 billion in economic activity every year.
Construction plans for an interfaith addition to the chapel are also complete. The addition will include six offices, four prayer spaces, a great room, a space for Hillel, a community kitchen, and a quiet meeting room for groups like Surviving Together and the bereavement group. The offices are intended for the chaplain and the executive director of Hillel, with additional offices for any part time staff, which will currently most likely be used by student interns and Goucher Christian Fellowship staff and the Israel Fellow to Hillel.
The goal of the Interfaith Center will be to create spaces for people who practice a variety of religions. One of the prayer rooms will include a Muslim absolution station. While the other spaces could change intentions because their religious affiliation will be determined
by furnishing rather than by architecture, the plan is to have Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian prayer or meditation spaces. In an interview, Chaplain Cynthia Terry also made clear that the interfaith addition will be open to all students, not just students who are religious.
The original projected start date for the Interfaith Center was much earlier, but the plans for the building turned out to be considerably more expensive than initially expected, with a cost estimate of $4.5 million. In order for construction to begin, more fund-raising will be necessary.
This is generally the case for the building plans. The new science center is projected to cost $22.5 million, and that is only in hard construction costs, not including costs like architects or paying for furniture.
“It’s a tough time to be a liberal arts school,” said Darragh Brady, project manager. “Liberal arts colleges are fighting to stay alive, fighting to survive. It is smart of Goucher to do this construction. They are recognizing that in order to lure students, they have to have science labs like the ones at University of Maryland, otherwise students will just go to the University of Maryland.”
Down the road, Goucher plans to lease the land for a building between the main entrance of the college and the Sheraton and Edenwald. While they currently have proposals from about twenty developers, it is still undetermined to whom the ground lease will go and when construction will begin.
For more information on Dining Halls, see page 1. To read about student perspectives on the First Year Village, flip to page 5.