Meyer demolition and future land development plans discussed at Faculty Senate meeting

Jan. 23, 2015, 12:16 a.m.

Noise, dust and truck traffic could accompany the next phase of Meyer Library’s removal, which will involve major structural demolition and the use of an on-site concrete-crusher for the next 40 days. Provost John Etchemendy discussed details of the demolition process at Thursday’s Faculty Senate Meeting.

The meeting also included an outline of on-going and future development and construction projects on and off campus.

Although demolition of the nearly 50-year-old Meyer Library has been underway for several months, the process will enter a new phase within a few days as construction workers begin to dismantle the building’s principle structure.

“It’s going to be an impact, it’s going to be unpleasant. But we are doing our best to minimize the impact,” Etchemendy said.

The decision to utilize an on-site concrete crusher instead of an off-site one was made in order to minimize the number of truckloads (from thousands to about 300) that will be required to transport materials along Escondido Road.

A concern raised at Thursday’s meeting was the inevitable proliferation of dust from the crusher, which could significantly affect air quality in the area.

According to Etchemendy, winter weather is better for keeping dust down, which is why the deconstruction is happening now. Windows are also generally kept closed more often during this time of year.

In addition, extra precautions, such as spraying, will be taken to control airborne debris, Etchemendy said.

To diminish the impact on classrooms, the registrar is prepared to relocate certain classes if needed.

“This will go on biblically for 40 days and 40 nights,” Etchemendy said. “I’m kidding about the nights.”

“It will end in early April,” he added.

At Thursday’s meeting, University Architect David Lenox also spoke about Stanford’s ongoing plans for development.

According to Lenox, Stanford, unlike most Universities, has a campus plan that was developed around the time of the University’s founding as a vision for the future. Although it has been largely ignored for the last century, architects are now recommitted to that plan, which promotes East-West access and the creation of new quads in addition to the main quad and engineering quad, which already exist.

“I assume some of you have seen a lot of construction on campus,” Lenox said. “I applaud you for your patience.”

Wellness, sustainability, as well as supporting arts, culture and sports are all important aspects of campus that are highly considered by Stanford architects, he added.

New arts buildings have put the arts at the forefront of campus, as the buildings among the first things visible for those entering through Palm Drive. In addition, he noted that the engineering quad buildings have set a new standard for sustainability.

The vision for Stanford’s future stretches through 2040 and includes myriad different projects.

One of these ideas is to push Campus Drive outwards towards Sand Hill Road in order to create room for more housing and academics buildings to be located within campus loop.

The far-reaching vision for campus will also lead to a renovation of the Stock Farm Road entrance to campus, which Lenox stated is currently the worst entrance to campus, and opening East-West campus access.

“At a campus level it’s about connection. How do you connect all the people? How do we get them to move around?” Lenox said.

One of the highest priorities for planning is to provide new student residences. The target is to house 100 percent of undergrads and 60 to 70 percent of graduate students on campus.

In order for this to occur, Escondido Village will have to get denser and taller, Lenox said. For undergraduates, a new Manzanita dorm will offer 125 new beds and Lagunita will have two new dorms as well.

On the sustainability side of planning, the Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) project has a goal to create sustainable energy so that Stanford does not use any fossil fuels.

“We think we will save $30 million over 30 years and reduce greenhouse gas 50 to 70 percent,” Lenox said.

There are also plans, which are already underway, to save up to 20 percent of domestic water supply.

Lenox also discussed the plans for off-campus expansion. Stanford in Redwood City is a new administrative campus for offices that don’t have day-to-day contact with faculty and students.

According to Lenox, the mantra of Stanford’s capital planning is to “be the caretaker of a legacy.”

“It’s easy for us to get enamored with the shiny new buildings. But the legacy is not the buildings, it’s the students faculty and staff,” Lenox said.


Contact Erica Evans at elevans ‘at’

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