In a meeting that took place earlier this month, President Bowen wanted to hear the opinions of what current students would like to see in the future physical spaces at Goucher. This action is being led by students in the Stimson Area and Student Space Project Working Group, as well as various members of faculty and staff. It was here that two scenarios of the possible changes to the Goucher campus were revealed. Scenario one showed the rebuilding of both Froelicher and Stimson halls. Here, Frolicher would become a “first year village,” consisting of mostly double rooms, and Stimson would become apartments including full kitchens for upperclassmen. At this time, there are no full apartments on the Goucher campus. The concept to house all of the first year students in one location is to help the first year retention rate by ensuring that first years are together and able to connect to their peers while also being close to the many surrounding facilities.
What about Stimson dining? Dean Bryan Coker explained that Goucher will be moving towards central dining in one large location in Mary Fisher, leaving Hooper and Dulaney as they are. This new space would be an additional 3000 square feet, being large enough to hold all of the current eating options we have in one large location. Since this location will be closer to academic buildings, it is anticipated that it will not only be more convenient for students, but it will also allow faculty and staff to join students for meals.
In the second scenario, Stimson would stay and housing would be built above and around the dining hall. The future Goucher is still very early in the stages of planning and no decisions have been made. These outlines are important for President Bowen to use to fundraise and both options are still being considered from a cost and fundraising standpoint “Scenario two might be cheaper in the short term, but in the long term Frolicher has to come down anyway,” Bowen said.
At the meeting, students expressed concerns about the intention behind building apartments for upperclassmae, hoping that this was not to create a situation where students would be forced to live on campus for all four years. Bowen agreed that is it not a good situation when the college has to reject student requests for living off campus. Yet at the same he would like to make it more appealing for upperclassmen to stay a part of the Goucher community.
Bowen addressed the fact that only 31% of current faculty members live in Towson. With the new buildings, Goucher is also considering adding faculty apartments to the dorms. In the far future, Bowen hopes to be able to create a section of faculty housing near the academic buildings.
When can Goucher expect to see any of these changes? Realistically, construction will begin in the summer of 2016. While the majority of the current students will not be here to experience any of these changes, students are encouraged to provide feedback for the future of Goucher.