Officials offer more information on the Lyme Road planning process

Earlier this week, Dartmouth officials said they would provide the community with a revised housing concept north of campus on Lyme Road in June. The news sparked questions about the scale and scope of the revisions, how they would be shared, and what the campus community might expect next.

The housing project will give undergraduates a more independent apartment living option, which planners say students have been asking for.

“Over the past several months, we have reconsidered several aspects of the housing proposals: site selection, programming and design character that honors Dartmouth’s history and sense of place, type of housing, flexibility and the context of how this proposal fits into our long-term space planning needs, says Executive Vice President Rick Mills.

“While we have an urgent and timely need to address housing conditions on campus, we have taken a step back to ensure our approach builds on the outstanding work of the Strategic Master Plan,” he added. , referring to the Opportunity Planning (PDF) campus framework.

Dartmouth intends to share housing proposals next month through a variety of information sessions for faculty and staff, students and community members, with additional in-person and virtual meetings scheduled for July. and August.

“We plan to introduce a fully-formed housing concept that allows us to provide high-quality apartment-style housing that meets student demand for more independent and flexible living options for undergraduates as we renovate existing residence space and creating a longer term capacity for graduate students,” says Mills. “By leveraging in-person meetings and virtual meeting and engagement tools, we hope to solicit feedback on the design, programming and other elements of the proposal. This will ensure that we can continue to move forward urgently. on this important strategic priority.”

“Dartmouth students have been waiting too long for better housing and further delay only prolongs the status quo,” says College Dean Scott C. Brown. “I am optimistic that we can find a workable solution.”

In its updated proposal, planners will provide additional context on long-term plans for the area north of campus that will allow for thoughtful growth for future academic and residential needs. The updated proposal will continue to maintain access to open public spaces and enhance ongoing recreational opportunities and will establish a process for moving forward, a budget and timelines.

“To get here, we considered a number of options that meet our long-term housing needs,” said Josh Keniston, vice-president of campus services and institutional projects. “During the pre-development phase, project budgets give us estimated ranges to help us weigh options. As we move into the more detailed planning and pre-construction phase, we will engage in a more specific estimating process, develop project schedules, and finalize design and material plans. »

Mills says that when the plans are presented, “it will be clear to our community and our neighbors in Hanover that we have carefully incorporated their feedback.”

“At the same time, we hope that additional suggestions and observations will help us refine and finalize not just the physical plans, but a variety of strategies to ensure that we maintain Dartmouth’s commitment to its distinctive residential culture through a variety of programs and community-gathering functionality,” he says.

Louisa R. Loomis