In December 2020, the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees authorized plans for a partial renovation of Templeton Campus Center to continue after being put on pause due to the pandemic.
The renovation was included in the new Facilities Master Plan that the Board of Trustees approved at the October 2019 board meeting. The plan outlines hundreds of improvements the college intends to make over the next five to 10 years. The renovation to Templeton Campus Center is chief among the long list of improvements, and the project has already gotten underway.
While no construction crew has broken ground on the project as of yet — and they are not likely to before Fall 2021— members of almost every administrative department and Facilities are currently meeting to discuss designs and blueprints.
“We would hope to have a pretty well-defined design in May,” Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Operations Andrea Dooley said. “And that would go to the Board to request approval to move forward with actual permitting and construction.”
Once the permits have been obtained and ground has been broken, the project is estimated to take 12 to 18 months.
“The plan reinforces the heart of campus with a dynamic student life district, positioned around a revitalized Templeton Campus Center,” according to the Master Plan.
Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Executive Director of the Career Center Rocky Campbell sits on some of the committees that are currently working to design the plans for the Templeton renovation. Campbell explained that the impetus for the project came from students lacking recreational spaces on campus.
“We realized that there was really not a home for students outside of the classroom to gather to be with one another,” Campbell said.
The team behind the renovation intends to develop the space to encourage students and student organizations to gather — once occupancy restrictions are lifted — and facilitate collaboration between different organizations.
“There’s actually a lot happening on this campus, but part of the challenge is it’s happening in, like, pockets of five people,” Campbell said. “It’s so isolated, no one can see that the other things are happening.”
LC has partnered with ZGF Architects, a sustainable architecture firm based in Portland, to design and construct the renovation. ZGF has worked with many higher education institutions in the past, including Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles and Reed College.
“ZGF’s higher education experience — which includes the successful programming, planning, and design for more than 200 buildings for college and university campuses nationwide — demonstrates our leadership in guiding multi-tiered institutional clients,” ZGF’s website states.
Dooley said the redesign will also encourage students to spend more time in the building.
“(The building) doesn’t tie in very well, and because of that it’s a place that people go to do transactional type things; you go get your mail and you leave, or you go get your food and you leave, it’s not a place you want to stay,” Dooley said.
The renovation will also attempt to improve navigation by opening up the center of the building. According to Campbell, the primary building entrance will move to the doorway near the Career Center and the bookstore.
The other major structural change will be the addition of an elevator to the east side of the building. Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, this elevator is intended to increase the accessibility of the building.
While this project is still in the planning and design phases, it is expected to cost the college around $15 million.
“The goal is that half of that would be funded from donors,” Dooley said. “And that half of it would come from debt financing, a refinance of our debt that we did this past spring. As part of that refinance project, we took out some additional funds that have been set aside for capital projects across campus.”