December 1, 2020

Master plan includes second quadrangle

Students may soon have another quad to play quidditch and soccer on as constructing a second quad has been proposed in the master plan.

Steve Strang, Webster’s senior project manager, said Boston-based architectural firm Sasaki & Associates introduced the idea of a second quad near the East Academic Building.

Strang considers the second quad as, “an extension of our current quad.” He believes it will be beneficial to students.

“The students were telling us it’s kind of difficult to get around,” Strang said. “So, what we’re trying to do is increase the circulation.”

Brie Hensold, Sasaki project manager, said multiple open spaces on campuses are becoming common sights in many universities around the country.

“I think one of the most important things is having a diversity of
open spaces on a campus,” Hensold said. “Right now, Webster does have one main quad, and what we’re trying to do is just provide additional open space as the campus grows. We see this in a lot of places that there’s maybe one main and iconic quad, but then there’s smaller or secondary, or
complimenting open spaces, too.”

Hensold said the quad would be serving students and faculty alike.

“If you think about it, it’s going to be a really mixed-use district. There’s the Lorretto-Hilton, there’s the East Academic Building, future academic buildings, existing office spaces; it would need to be a space that responds to all those users’ needs,” Hensold said.

Loren Douglass, who is also part of the Master plan committee representing undergraduate students, thinks this will also benefit students.

“I like the idea of having more of those green gathering spaces on campus,” Douglass said. “Hopefully that will encourage our commuter students to spend more time on campus and enjoy the campus environment more.”

She says the East Academic Building, and potentially another building to be constructed in the future, will be the anchor of the second quad.

“I think it’s a neat idea that they had,” Douglass said. “Basically, they want to
connect the east and west side of campus. The whole idea is to take our existing quad and have a nice flow into the other side of campus.”

Hensold said the master plan committee was optimistic about the ideas proposed by Sasaki & Associates.

“From the very beginning when we were showing concepts and different types of ideas, the quad to the east was something that really resonated with people,” Hensold said. “That was the steering committee, as well as other groups we met with. I think a lot of people saw it as a natural progression from having more development on that eastern district.”

She said though Sasaki & Associates will merely help design the campus expansion plan, the firm will not disappear after the expansion is complete.

“We always like to see things realized and go into implementation,” Hensold said. “We’ve on many occasions (with other clients) stayed past the master planning to help implement some of
the ideas.”

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