At high risk for COVID, Grace Acton arrived at Bates during the height of the pandemic. By embracing a childhood hobby of sewing, she found mentors, community, and academic fulfillment.
Step 1 – Analysis and Synthesis
The first part of the Campus Facilities Master Plan was a comprehensive inventory and analysis of current facilities and a synthesis of the needs and desires of the various campus constituencies. All campus facilities were entered into an extensive database to be used for future planning.
While facilities audits were under way, the consultants conducted an extensive set of meetings and interviews with a variety of campus constituencies to determine their needs, visions, and goals for their own areas and for the College in coming years.
Technical data was gathered about patterns of room and building use, and enrollment patterns. The consultants also collected comparative information about the state of facilities at several selected peer institutions.
Gather Input from Users
The Master Planning process solicited input from all parties who use campus facilities. Perceived needs and visions varied by constituency. How were programs defined and how were spaces really used? Were facilities suitable to the needs of the program? How would changes in programs affect facility needs?
Groups consulted in invited or open meetings (Fall 2003):
- Senior Staff
- Board of Trustees
- Faculty and faculty departments/programs and committees
- Administrative staff
- Facility Services
- Information and Library Services
- Registrar and Academic Affairs personnel
- Alumni groups
- Analyzed all types of campus spaces and compared them with national guidelines
- Compared the amount of space with peer institutions
- Conducted user group interviews. What are the “sacred” spaces on campus? What are the characteristics that make Bates spaces “like Bates?” What are the large scale space needs?
- Began a comprehensive facilities audit. Reviewed all systems (plans, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, code and engineering reports, fire protection, etc) and developed a Facilities Condition Index (FCI) that measures cost of correcting problems relative to cost of replacing the building. Used comparable but simpler rating system for wood-frame buildings commensurate with the complexity of these structures. Synthesized assessments into a Good, Fair or Poor rating for each building on campus.
A poor rating means that an investment approximately equal to the cost of the building would be needed to bring it up to standard
- Of the buildings in the center campus, only three were in “poor” condition (Hedge, Roger Williams and the Chapel)
- Of the wood-frame buildings, including student housing and administrative buildings, most were in “poor” condition
- Conducted a site audit. Reviewed the use and location of athletic fields, parking, environmental conditions, landscaping and land use, underground utilities, and “wayfinding”
Site Conditions Audit
Was the campus utilities infrastructure adequate? How did people circulate around campus? What were the most frequently used spaces? Were buildings accessible and well-identified? What areas were best suited for any future construction? Did the boundaries between the campus and the local community need to be reviewed?
- Review condition and capacity of all utility systems
- Review circulation patterns on campus
- Pedestrian traffic
- “Way-finding” and signage
- Vehicular traffic
- Parking capacity and locations
- Accessibility (Americans with Disabilities Act issues)
- Open spaces
- Boundary survey
- Soils condition (suitable for potential construction?)
- Environmental concerns
- Gateways to local community (are the limits of the campus well-defined?)
- Review of zoning and ordinances
How much space did we have, and for what purposes was it being used? Would our classroom spaces meet the needs of a changing academic program? Did we have adequate housing and dining facilities to meet our desired or optimal enrollment levels? Were our facilities adequate to meet our vision for the campus? How did Bates compare with some of its peers?
- Space audit
- Classroom and room utilization (by purpose, by time)
- Housing capacity
- Dining facilities
Facilities Conditions Audit
What was the condition of campus physical facilities? How much deferred maintenance was there? Were facilities being put to their “best use”? In considering current building standards and future campus needs, was it better to renovate existing facilities or to do new construction? Were there any campus “sacred spaces” that should not be changed significantly? A facilities audit was intended to help identify the most immediate facilities needs, and to help assign logical priorities to future campus development.
- Structural systems
- Mechanical systems
- Electrical systems
- Architectural systems
- “Best uses” review (How might a structure be renovated or assigned to a new role? Is it better to renovate or to build a new structure?)
About Campus Housing
Typically, about 90 percent of students live on campus in Bates housing. Bates College has never had fraternities or sororities.
Housing options include:
- Coed and male or female single-sex options
- Traditional dormitories
- Victorian houses in neighborhoods around campus
- All first-year housing option
- Chemical-free option
- 24-hour quiet/study option
- Six “theme” houses (themes vary from year to year)
- A variety of configurations ranging from singles to suites
How much land?
The Bates main campus consists of 109 acres, located in a residential area of Lewiston.
Bates-Morse Mountain view
The College also has access to the 574-acre Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area in Phippsburg, which preserves one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the Atlantic coast. Nearby is the Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge, including 80 acres of woodland and freshwater habitat, a scientific field station, and a retreat center.
By the end of Phase I, the Sasaki consultants will provide the College with an updated and state-of-the-art database with extensive details about the square footage, the uses, and the condition of each facility on campus. Electronic “blueprints” of each building will be used to further guide the planning process.
The Old and the New
Hathorn Hall, completed in 1857, is Bates’ first building and the campus’ most notable landmark. Home to the mathematics and foreign language departments, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Pettengill Hall, built in 1999, is the newest academic facility at Bates. It houses Bates’ social science departments and related interdisciplinary programs, as well as the Perry Atrium, an 8,000-square-foot, three-story glass atrium overlooking Lake Andrews.