In 2016 Princeton University revealed its overall plans for expanding its campus in the next 10 years to accommodate 500 new undergraduate students, creating new engineering and science buildings, new housing, and creating buildings, paths, and footbridges on the university-owned land south of Lake Carnegie in West Windsor. (U.S. 1, September 28, 2016.) Now, the university has come out with a more detailed vision.
Among the more significant proposals in the plan is the construction of a new “lake campus” complex on the south side of Lake Carnegie, connected to the main campus via Washington Road and a new footbridge. This campus would include administrative space, graduate student housing, retail space, areas for academic partnerships, amenities, a parking lot and transit hub, and athletic fields.
The plan also proposes new footpaths and buildings for engineering and environmental studies on its lands east of Washington Road. These new buildings would link to the central campus by an east-west connector path for biking and walking. Where paths intersect, the plan proposes “nodes” with entertainment, dining, or other socially oriented facilities. The bike and pedestrian path going over the new footbridge would link to the town of Princeton’s municipal paths, giving residents a way to cross the lake without using the heavily trafficked Washington Road bridge.
The plan also calls for a new residential college for 500 students to be built near Poe Field east of Elm Drive. This new college would require relocating a softball field and a tennis center, which would be moved to the Lake Campus near a rugby field and cross-country course. Other sports would eventually move to the Lake Campus also, and a new hockey arena would be built there. There would be a new shuttle service for student athletes.
Closer to the existing campus, new engineering and environmental studies buildings would be built on the north side of Ivy Lane and Western Way, near current engineering buildings.
The plan is intended to promote cycling, walking, and mass transit and discourage the use of cars. It does, however, call for a new parking garage where there is currently a surface lot at Faculty and Fitzrandolph roads.
The Springdale Golf Club also gets an extended lease on life in the plan, which calls for the tract to be preserved and leased to the golf club for at least another 10 years. After that, however, it could be developed into university housing.
The plan also identifies several other areas for future expansion and notes the university is still figuring out how to pay for the new buildings.
“Just as the Princeton campus will continue to evolve as projects are approved and new opportunities and priorities emerge, so too is this planning framework intended to evolve over time and with experience,” the plan says. “By integrating planning for development with planning related to land use, sustainability, infrastructure, transportation, and landscape, it allows the university to pursue multiple objectives in a comprehensive way.”
The 166-page campus plan is online at campusplan.princeton.edu/current-campus-plan.
Princeton University, Princeton 08544. 609-258-3000. Christopher Eisgruber, president. www.princeton.edu.