Spring 2020 Updates

As the college community went through the campus master planning process, we continually asked ourselves four questions based on the Ursinus Quest: Open Questions Open Minds curriculum, as reformulated by our master planners, Hord Coplan Macht:

  • What should matter to the college?
  • How should we build community?
  • How can we encourage intellectual engagement and risk taking?
  • What should the student experience be like?

The CMP established guiding principles and planning goals for the college and identified four areas on which to focus. Projects that have been completed, are near completion, or are in the planning stages are:

Community Life

  • The Schellhase Commons is scheduled to be completed for the official dedication and ribbon-cutting on April 3 at 3:30 p.m. The creation of this new main entrance plaza and community gateway to campus will provide a new space for community events, two electric car-charging stations and 14 visitor parking spaces.
  • Planning has begun on an extension to the plaza in front of Berman Museum to Bomberger Hall, continuing along the side of the museum to the main brick walkway.
  • The college has received a Montgomery County grant to enhance the sidewalks on both sides of Main Street between Fifth and Ninth avenues, including parts of Sixth Avenue and in front of Trinity Church and the Collegeville Fire Company property. This work is set to begin after commencement with completion in late fall.
  • The college continues to collaborate with the borough on the redevelopment of Main Street with the goal of developing a “college town,” and we are considering options of an event space on campus for outside events.
  • At the front of campus, five trees in poor health have been removed and several trees were elevated and trimmed to open the view into campus.
  • We are in conversations with an artist from New York potentially to commission painting the smokestack at the heat plant.

Academic Life

  • Library and Information Technology has created a Classroom Wizard survey to aid faculty members in choosing the proper classroom for their teaching style and needs.
  • Facilities staff have worked with LIT to renovate 10 classrooms in Olin Hall, two classrooms in Ritter Hall and four classrooms in Thomas Hall, including lighting and ceiling upgrades, flooring, painting, classroom furnishings and technology.
  • Breakout spaces were created in Olin Hall and Thomas Hall, and last year, the Institute for Student Success (ISS) was moved to new space in Lower Wismer to be contiguous to the Institute for Inclusion and Equity (IIE).

Student Life

  • The Commons provides new, exciting spaces for students, including a bookstore and café, which will proudly serve Starbucks coffee.
  • Improvements have begun in Reimert Hall, where old railings have been replaced with a new metal design and exterior painting to the courtyard has been completed. Replacement of stair towers are in the planning phase, as are renovations to some Main Street houses.
  • Lounges, study spaces and upgraded lighting, flooring and painting have been completed in the first-year residence halls to enhance student learning and collaboration.

Athletics

  • A new entrance to the Floy Lewis Bakes Field House, including steps and landscaping, has been completed.
  • Eleanor Frost Snell Alumnae Field has received a new turf surface through a generous gift from the estate of Adele Boyd ’53 and bleachers for field hockey are in the planning stage through a generous gift from the Abele Family Foundation.