Board of Managers Appoints Members of College's Town Center West Advisory Committee
Sept. 28, 2010
Last week the Board of Managers appointed members of the College's Town Center West Ad Hoc Advisory Committee. The Committee, which includes student, faculty, staff, and Board representatives, will provide institutional perspective for the proposed Town Center West project and keep the community informed about the project's progress. The current Town Center West proposal includes an inn with approximately 40-45 guest rooms, a restaurant, the relocation of the College-run bookstore, and the possibility of approximately 80 apartments. If approved, the development would be located at the edge of campus closest to the existing business district, in close proximity to the train station.
The Town Center West project would provide lodging and gathering space for visiting scholars, prospective and current families, alumni, and other guests to stay when they visit the College. The development would further expand our opportunities for intellectual exchange and serve as a bridge between the college and the broader community. It would also create new jobs for the area; provide an economic engine for the Borough's retail district; generate new tax revenues; and foster an enhanced sense of community between College and Borough residents.
The Committee will coordinate the program, design, and land use of the potential project. It will be guided by the College's strategic thinking which began in the mid-1990's when the College and Borough began to plan proactively for the revitalization of the Town Center business area. The Advisory Committee will also advise the Property and Finance Committees of the Board of Managers on the financial and long-term land use implications of the project, and incorporate direction from the Board. The Property Committee is charged with discussing the merits of capital projects on behalf of the College and the Board of Managers, through the Finance Committee, has fiduciary responsibility for such projects.
The members of the Town Center West Ad Hoc Advisory Committee are Garikai Campbell '90, Associate Professor of Mathematics; Shane Casey, '11; Rebecca Chopp, President; Randall Exon, Professor of Studio Art; Solange Hilfinger-Pardo '12; Barbara Mather '65, former chair of the Board of Managers; Thomas Spock '78, chair of the Finance Committee of the Board of Managers; Janet Semler, director of planning and construction; David Singleton '68, chair of the Property Committee of the Board of Managers; and Hansjakob Werlen, Professor of German Studies. I will serve as convenor of the Committee.
Selection of a developer to work on this project is underway. The developer will create a design concept guided by the strategic thinking about the project including the Borough's revitalization goals.
I want to underscore that development projects typically take considerable time to finalize and involve numerous, collaborative partners. In this case the College, borough, county, and developer will all be involved in the design review process, which will take many rounds of discussion with specific details being modified as the concept is further developed. The developer must also submit detailed plans and projections to the appropriate borough and county agencies for formal consideration. The approval process would culminate in a vote taken by Swarthmore Borough Council on behalf of borough residents.
On behalf of the Town Center West Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, we look forward to hosting open meetings on campus as a more specific proposal is developed. We hope that all interested members of the Swarthmore community will attend and share their good ideas and responses with us as we carefully consider and further explore the possibility of a Town Center West development project.
C. Stuart Hain,
Vice President for Facilities and Services