Our beautiful campus has changed dramatically during the last 50 years. Managing growth of the University and expansion of the student body while preserving and enhancing the unique look and feel of the campus has been a challenge largely met. The announcement that the University is looking at a site for a new 500-student residential college south of Poe and Pardee fields (On the Campus, May 17) is the latest example of this management challenge.
Poe and Pardee fields, the softball field, the tennis courts, and the Roberts Stadium fields form a coherent group of recreational resources within a beautifully landscaped open area valued by students (and returning alumni!). It would be a shame to degrade the largest remaining open and green space in the core of the campus.
Here is a suggestion for a better site for one or two new residential colleges — the underutilized and unattractive student parking lots on the lower campus. Undergraduates no longer are permitted to bring vehicles to our “walking campus,” and the student lots apparently are not needed. Locating one or two new residential colleges at the parking lots would place them closer to the somewhat isolated Forbes College and the new Lewis arts complex. Landscaping would provide a screen from the businesses along Alexander Road and the PJ&B line.
Offering the opportunity of a Princeton education to a growing number of highly qualified students is a worthy objective. So is preserving the intangible but very real and sustainable benefit of having the most beautiful college campus in the land.