During the Monday, September 30 ASCMC Senate meeting, Assistant Dean of Students Dean Eric Vos, Dean of Students Mary Spellman, and Vice President for Administration and Planning and General Counsel Matthew Bibbens discussed the Mid Quad Expansion Proposal.
The expansion proposal all boils down to “enrollment management – the art and science of the amount of students at CMC at every single point in time,” explained Bibbens. Taking CMC’s operating budget and enrollment flow into consideration, a yearly assessment is conducted of gap between the budget and supply of beds to evaluate living situations, renovations, and expansions for the following year. Projections into the 2013-2014 year indicate that the gap between budget and bed supply will be 60 beds, which will result in excessive overcrowding at CMC. With a Mid Quad expansion, additional beds will be added and the budget will move back to its equilibrium.
To represent Mid Quad as the “main artery of the campus instead of a perceived pass through,” specific attention will be spent on enlivening the Mid Quad experience through outdoor areas and unique student spaces. In short, the expansion proposal includes an additional joint section between Berger and Benson as well as renovations within Marks.
Dean Vos explained that the proposal aims to make Mid Quad “homier [and] to make students feel more comforted.” Through added study spaces, study lounges, and social spaces, the plan fulfills many past requests regarding spaces for group projects, movies, or events.
The addition between Berger and Benson will create 50 to 60 new beds, for which housing will be gender neutral. An active lounge, facing Crown Hall, will be used for gatherings, events, parties, and movies. This main lounge will also have open-air use with an extended main entrance. Adjacent to the active lounge will be a quiet lounge or demonstration kitchen. The middle of the space will house an open courtyard with outdoor furniture that could be used for socializing, studying, or lounging.
ASCMC Vice President Maddie Hall ’14 asked if “this extension between Berger and Benson would be named ‘Berson’ or ‘Benger’” to which Dean Spellman responded the naming of the new space is “currently undecided and it could even have its own identity.”
In addition to the Berger and Benson extension, the Marks lounge and basement will be renovated. The basement, which runs the length of the entire dormitory, will be restructured for specific programmatic use. While there has been a push for more study spaces on campus, the basement might also include a permanent music practice room or a small concert space similar to Pomona’s Dom’s Lounge. The lounge would be completely gutted and renovated, allowing for new single and double rooms on the second and third floors of Marks above the lounge. Instead of the two bathrooms currently on each floor in Marks, the bathrooms would be reduced to one on each floor with additional informal and group study spaces.
The Board of Trustees will approve this proposal on Saturday morning. Dean Vos encouraged feedback on the proposal, particularly on maximizing the use of Marks basement space.
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