Memo from President Fox | St. Lawrence University Facilities Master Plan

Memo from President Fox

Note to Campus From President William L. Fox
October 20, 2012

St. Lawrence Colleagues:

I write on behalf of the Board of Trustees to review discussions and action taken at the fall meeting this weekend.

Following a yearlong process that involved the entire campus community, the Board accepted a new Facilities Master Plan (FMP) that will guide the renewal, renovation and adaptation of our campus in the coming decades. The plan, which will remain a “living document,” with changes and refinements expected in the many years to come, aligns support and use for physical space needs with teaching, learning and campus life. The resolution passed by the Board also directs that all Laurentian constituencies be involved to assess options, identify the resources and develop processes for its evolution and implementation.

Student housing is identified as a top priority, with the goal of adding space for about 150 new beds by fall 2014. Our planning consultants, Saratoga Associates and Beardsley Design Associates, working with the FMP Advisory Committee, have recommended several locations for the new residence hall, focusing on sites closer to the center of campus to avoid creating “suburbs” and to protect our “walking campus” and the sense of community that are hallmarks of St. Lawrence.

At the recommendation of the Architect Selection Committee, the University has engaged Sacco & McKinney Architects, P.C., of Latham, N.Y., to work with the committee and the campus to consider and evaluate the potential sites and design the new residence hall.

One location being considered is on the road and parking lot adjacent to the Quad, on its eastern perimeter across from the entrance to the Noble Center. A second possible site is on the road between the Quad and the Dean-Eaton residence hall. If one of these sites is selected, the project could include adding geothermal energy and reducing the pavement surrounding the Quad to add as much as 6 percent more green space, including enhanced landscaping.

The University also would work with the architects to ensure that the building fits the character of campus and that it maintains or enhances the views to landmark buildings surrounding the Quad.

A third site being considered is near Park Street, just west of Hepburn Hall. The Facilities Master Plan also recommends this site as a potential location for a future academic building to be completed in a second phase.

The University plans to select a site and begin design for the residence hall by the end of this semester. Construction could begin as early as May 2013.

The University plans to “pay as we go,” raising money from donors for projects in the Facilities Master Plan that cannot be completed with annual capital funds. On that note, I am pleased to announce that the Class of 2013 has pledged its senior gift to support the construction of the new residence hall, and two trustees said this weekend they plan to support the project with gifts of $1 million each. This is a great start to our focused fundraising effort for the residence hall.

All implementation phases of the FMP will be planned in the context of the University’s commitment to sustainability and in consultation with the campus community. We will plan several opportunities to discuss the new residence hall and other FMP projects in the coming months and years as we progress in our planning.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FMP Advisory Committee and its co-chairs Larry French and Dan Seaman for their excellent work in guiding this process over the past year. The committee, which included faculty, students, staff, trustees and alumni, dedicated many long hours to this important project.

I invite your comments and questions anytime, to


William L. Fox