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Campus Framework Plan



Part 1.  Planning Framework

III.1.A Regional Issues

Gustavus Adolphus has enjoyed a beneficial relationship with the city of St. Peter.  The College provides a stable economic base and cultural opportunities to the community in exchange for city services.  The campus location on the periphery of the city has minimized conflicts.  However, city development has now begun to surround the College, leading to important regional land use issues. 

St. Peter High School, located on the northern boundary of the campus, presents the opportunity to share athletic facilities on a short term basis.  This allows Gustavus some flexibility in sequencing renovations to their athletic facilities. To the west and north, the 1995 St. Peter Comprehensive Plan anticipates residential growth, which the new St. Peter Catholic Church and School will help to trigger. This housing will require roadway infrastructure improvements. The proposed extension of Nicollet Avenue between TH22 and TH99, described under Part 4, will affect traffic on the periphery of the campus. The commercial development across from the new track has already been strengthened by the westward expansion of the city.

To the south, Pine Point, along Jefferson Avenue, has become fully developed as single family and multi-family housing.  Single family housing surrounds the conservation corridor across from Pine Point, and more land is slated for residential development.  The resulting traffic along Jefferson Avenue is an increasing concern for the College and a stronger buffer may be desirable.

Student parking policies of the College, and a shortage of convenient parking spaces for on-campus students, has resulted in restrictions to street parking in the neighborhood immediately to the east of the College. This will be exacerbated when the College reaches its goal of 90% on-campus students, and the College has been advised that neighborhood parking restrictions will be increased.

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III.1.B Campus Issues

Figure III.1.B illustrates campus issues and opportunities shown within the context of the open space framework, axes and view corridors of the campus. The Steering  Committee noted the following campus issues:

Campus Strengths:

  • New track and field area
  • Open Space between Lund Center, Jackson Campus Center, Johnson Student Union and the Library
  • The Eckman Mall between Christ Chapel and Three Flags
  • College Avenue approach to Old Main
  • Arboretum Interpretive Center
  • Christ Chapel
  • Folke Bernadotte Library
  • Lund Center
  • Jackson Campus Center
  • Rundstrom Hall
  • College View Apartments
  • International Center

Areas that need improvement to function well:

  • Hillside above Myrtle Street
  • The curve of South Campus Drive at the southwest corner of the intramural fields
  • Connection between Arbor View Apartments , the Arboretum and the interior of the Campus
  • Heating Plant parking lot
  • Schaefer Fine Arts Center
  • Wahlstrom Hall and Parking Lot F
  • Anderson Social Science Center
  • Old Main
  • Carlson Administration Building
  • North, Link and Sorensen Halls
  • Campus administrative offices within Norelius and Uhler
  • Location of the President’s residence
  • Stadium

Areas of opportunity that have yet to be developed to their full potential:

  • Lambert 40 athletic/recreation field development
  • Chapel Circle and West Mall open space development
  • Prairie View Hall land use
  • South Mall open space development
  • Parking Lot N land use
  • Intersection of North Campus Drive and Mall Drive
  • Uhler Courtyard
  • Expansion of Arbor View Apartments
  • Johnson Student Union
  • South Tennis Courts
  • North Campus Entry
  • Schaefer Art Gallery
  • Stadium land use

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III.1.C Development Zones

The existing campus can be categorized into seven zones, each with different potential to accommodate the proposed development.  Starting from the interior, the campus has three critical open space networks that are designated as “no build” zones.  These are the Eckman Mall and the South Mall which focus on Christ Chapel, and the open bowl along the bluff which focuses on Old Main and Campus Drive.

Surrounding the critical campus open space is the campus core, which consists of both buildings and open spaces.  Development is feasible in this zone through the use of infill sites if done in a manner that supports the open space network and land use patterns.  The bluffline is a unique campus amenity and acts as a buffer to the community.  This campus buffer zone should be developed with care, preserving views and maintaining sensitivity to the topography.  Possible development might include appropriately scaled parking lots or recreational spaces.

West of the campus core lies the athletics/recreation zone.  This area is a prime location for campus development, due to proximity to the campus core and relative openness.  Within this zone, the campus grid shifts from its alignment with the city grid to the true north-south grid of the surrounding agricultural area.  Development should extend and support existing campus land use, circulation and open space patterns in order to maintain the appropriate amounts of parking, informal open space and athletic/recreation fields.

The Arboretum has been developed through the donations of hundreds of trees and shrubs.  Plantings are now well established and cannot be relocated without great expense.  With the exception of minor peripheral areas, the Arboretum is also a zone where no building development should occur.  Finally, the College-owned property to the west and north, the “Gardner 80 Acres” and the “Lambert 40 Acres,” are still primarily open fields.  While stormwater management must be addressed in these zones, these areas are essentially flexible development zones.  The College may choose to develop these areas as Arboretum expansion or more athletic/recreation fields.

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Part 2.  Campus Development Options

III.2.A Campus Development Opportunities

Figure III.2.A illustrates the locations of potential campus redevelopment zones, including buildings that will eventually be demolished and make way for new development, buildings that can be renovated or reused, and zones that are reserved for athletics and recreational uses.  All possibilities within the campus core have been identified for campus expansion opportunities, associated circulation and utility infrastructure requirements, and displacement of open space. 

Development zones consist of both free-standing locations and additions to existing buildings, and have been identified through analysis of existing conditions and previous campus plans. Renovation and reuse creates the opportunity to strengthen the campus character already established.  There are opportunities to redevelop and add on to existing buildings such as Anderson Social Science Center, Wahlstrom Hall, and Carlson Administration Building.   Renovation of Anderson must take into account the fact that it is the hub for the Campus fiber optic network. Infill sites should also be set aside to accommodate unforeseen changes in programs or enrollment growth. Recent additions and renovations to a number of campus buildings provide successful examples of these opportunities.     

The larger areas of land on the western edge of campus and along Seventh Street have been identified as future development zones.  The area around the President’s residence could provide an important link between the campus core and the athletic/recreation fields around the Swanson Tennis Center. The Arbor View Apartments were originally designed, platted, and built with the intent of expansion and have the potential to eventually form another vital campus residential zone.

Campus Development Plans A, B and C

The three Interior Campus Development Plans have certain common characteristics based upon the following assumptions. 

The development of a new West Mall focusing on Christ Chapel addresses several planning issues. The 1994 Housing Study identified the need for two additional residence halls.  The halls would serve several purposes.  They will provide 100 additional student rooms to allow for the sequencing of renovations in Wahlstrom Hall, allow for the eventual replacement of Prairie View Hall, and increase the ratio of students housed on campus to achieve the goal of 90% on-campus students.  The study determined that sites located in the west area of the campus would best serve the needs of the College. 

The siting of Olin Hall, International Center, and the resulting truncation of the Stadium bowl will be resolved by eventual completion of a more formal mall space, focusing on Christ Chapel and the relocation of the Stadium.

All of the options address the following opportunities:

West Mall

  • Establish the West Mall as open space, the edges of which are defined by the north face of Olin Hall and the south face of the Library
  • Create a focal point at the end of West Mall adjacent to Campus Drive
  • Provide an academic building site adjacent to the Library

South Mall

  • Expand Schaefer Fine Arts Center for a concert hall, teaching and practicing facilities
  • Provide for future Nobel Hall of Science expansion on the southern portion of the building
  • Locate a new academic building site on the South Mall to anchor the southeast corner of campus and form a new, enclosed outdoor gathering space
  • Redevelop and expand Anderson Social Science Center taking into account the fiber optic hub located there


  • Redevelop Wahlstrom Hall
  • Provide new residence halls and apartments to meet future housing needs
  • Relocate the President’s residence to the east side of campus along 7th Avenue


  • Expand Lund Center to the west
  • Relocate and improve the Stadium adjacent to Lund Center
  • Consolidate  the Shops and Physical Plant facilities next to Swanson Tennis Center


  • Expand Parking Lot F along the bluff line and accommodate future parking needs
  • Increase and redistribute student parking areas


  • Provide a new drop off for Bjorling Recital Hall and Anderson Theatre
  • Provide a clear entryway sequence to Parking Lot A from Campus Drive

Pedestrian Circulation

  • Create a primary pedestrian circulation loop, or Campus Walk, around the campus core

Open Space

  • Provide locations for new campus plazas as gathering spaces, links, and focal points to improve the quality of the campus outdoor social spaces

Specific features of the three options are described and drawn on the following pages. There is a certain amount of mix and match possible in each of the plans. Each option has illustrations in plan view and in 3D model view.

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 III.2.B  Campus Development Plan A

West Mall

  • Places one residence hall and one academic building on the West Mall
  • Flanks the mall with parking near Campus Drive

South Mall

  • Expands Schaefer Fine Arts Center on the northern end, with a long drop-off access drive adjacent to Bjorling Recital Hall
  • Forms a new open space enclosed by the Schaefer expansion, Olin Hall, the International Center, and a new academic building, with access from Chapel Drive


  • Proposes a new residence hall precinct in the southeastern portion of campus, including redevelopment of Wahlstrom Hall and Pine House sites and the addition of three other buildings at Arbor View Apartments.


  • Creates an athletic focus along the western edge of Campus Drive by placing intramural fields, the Stadium, and new football fields adjacent to the road
  • Encloses the Stadium on three sides with bleachers, a Lund Center expansion and the current Lund Center
  • Places football fields across Campus Drive near Swanson Tennis Center


  • Locates parking zones on either side of the West Mall, behind the intramural fields, on either side of Campus Drive near North, Link and Sorensen, and in the new residential zone in the southeast


  • Adds no significant new roads other than those common to all options

Campus Walk

  • Proposes that the Campus Walk follow Campus Drive around the outside edge of the southwestern intramural fields
  • Routes the Campus Walk inside of Parking Lot G

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III.2.C  Campus Development Plan B

West Mall

  • Aligns two academic buildings and residence halls with the West Mall

South Mall

  • Expands Schaefer Fine Arts Center on the southern end of the building with a small access drive

Residence Halls

  • Locates a group of residence halls on the campus interior, creating the edges of an informal open space behind Schaefer Fine Arts Center
  • Places a residence hall adjacent to the West Mall


  • Creates pedestrian access from the West Mall to the Stadium, terminating in a plaza
  • Places the Stadium at an angle consistent with Swanson Tennis Center and expands the athletic/recreation complex with football fields north of Campus Drive
  • Links the West Mall with the football fields and Swanson Tennis Center through the former President’s residence area


  • Restricts parking to the outer rim of Campus Drive
  • Builds on existing parking around Swanson Tennis Center
  • Adds a parking lot and intramural fields between Norelius and Grace Street on the north side of campus


  • Proposes a new realignment of Campus Drive
  • Creates a new road linking Grace Street with Campus Drive to redefine the north campus entrance

Campus Walk

  • Routes the Campus Walk inside of Parking Lot G
  • Places the Campus Walk behind the Schaefer expansion, through new open space, and beside new residence halls

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Figure III.2.D  Campus Development Plan C

West Mall

  • Extends a portion of the West Mall south to Chapel Drive, creating the opportunity for continuous green space between the Mall and new residence halls
  • On the north side of the Mall, aligns two buildings with the mall and one with the Library

South Mall

  • Expands Schaefer Fine Arts Center in the middle of the building, with an access drive around new open space

Residence Halls

  • Proposes residence hall sites that create new informal open space in the southwest sector of campus
  • Places residence halls on both sides of the West Mall


  • Retains football fields in the center of campus adjacent to the Lund Center Expansion
  • Places the Stadium in line with Swanson Tennis Center
  • Creates uninterrupted intramural fields and informal open space behind Norelius Hall


  • Locates parking along Campus Drive but also incorporates more parking into the campus core, behind the Schaefer Expansion, along the West Mall and around Parking Lot G

Campus Walk

  • Brings the key pedestrian circulation outside of Parking Lot G


  • Suggests realignment of service roads through Parking Lot L to form a circle drive around the new Stadium with connections to Campus Drive

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III.2.E  Campus Perimeter Plan

The Campus Perimeter Plan, Athletic/Recreation Expansion and Arboretum Expansion diagrams respond to the desire to preserve the existing open space west of the campus core.  Making use of College-owned land parcels for campus open space development will both strengthen the buffer zone between the campus core and surrounding community development, and maintain open campus spaces for the benefit of students, faculty and staff.

The Campus Perimeter Plan (Figure III.2.E) calls for expansion of the Arboretum onto the “Gardner 80 Acres” and the expansion of the playing fields on the “Lambert 40 Acres.”  Flood storage required by the city of St. Peter can be accommodated on the land, as shown on the plan.  Other peripheral uses include the expansion of the Arbor View Apartments and support facilities such as the campus nursery.

Figure III.2.E1, Athletic/Recreation Expansion, shows how new facilities would be added to existing fields. The “Lambert 40 Acres” should be utilized for displaced athletic/recreation fields.  The majority of this space is within a 10-minute walking distance from Lund Center. Varsity softball and baseball fields could be located west of the existing soccer and softball fields, with a swale or underground pipe directing storm water runoff to the flood storage area. The area surrounding the President’s residence, if converted to intramural fields, provides a link between the campus core and the athletic/recreation expansion area.

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Figure III.2.E2, Arboretum Expansion, shows proposed land uses for the new expansion area on the “Gardner 80 Acres,” as well as the relationship to the existing natural areas and botanical gardens.  The expansion of the Arboretum has the space to include large swaths of native vegetation, including prairie, mixed forest, pine, spruce, fir, hardwood forest, and bottomland forest.  A swale in the bottomland forest leads to stormwater detention ponds.

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Part 3.  Open Space Development Concepts

Campus character and cohesiveness are strongly influenced by the planning of campus open spaces.  These spaces are in turn shaped by buildings, plantings, sidewalks, paving, site lighting and site furnishings.  The following open space plans result from a critical examination of existing conditions on the campus.  They consist of recommendations intended to act as guidelines for future sitework and landscaping.  In order to look at this issue in detail, the campus has been divided into seven areas: South Mall, North Mall West Mall, Fine Arts Quad, South Residence Halls, Old Main Mall and Three Flags Quad.  Since many of the recommendations are relevant to all of the areas, a legend has been created to describe these general recommendations.  In addition, specific recommendations are noted on each diagram.

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III.3.A South Mall

The South Mall has not been significantly improved since it was developed in the 1960’s. As a result, the South Mall has a spartan quality compared with other campus spaces.  The South Mall has also been identified in review meetings as a possible area for public performances and ceremonies.  The amphitheater located east of Schaefer should be removed and reconstructed.  As it currently exists it remains unused and unattractive.  The amphitheater can be centered in the space between the Anderson Theatre and Bjorling Recital Hall.  A stage can be created which focuses on Schaefer Fine Arts Center.  Because grades slope from the building to the east, they would reinforce this orientation.  The terraced space on the west side of Confer can be rebuilt to become an attractive, functional exterior gathering space, consistent with the original design intent of the building.  The berm should be removed to help reinforce the ground plane of the South Mall.  Diagonal sidewalks that match known desire lines should be added and north-south walks should be widened.

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III.3.B  North Mall

Several excellent opportunities exist to enhance the North Mall.  Concrete seating in the Eckman Mall and elsewhere can be refinished to match the Kasota stone used on campus buildings in order to create a more cohesive campus palette of materials. Vines should be removed from any short walls which are designed for seating but are unusable.  The area immediately west of Christ Chapel will remain a vehicular drop-off in any of the schemes for the West Mall.  This drop-off should be developed as a more pedestrian space, limiting parking to handicapped only. A forecourt should be created to the drop-off pedestrian plaza.  A new entrance to Old Main should be developed which is suitable to focus on the North Mall.  A section of sidewalk should be added to connect Carlson Administration Building to the Three Flags to balance the sidewalks across the mall and accommodate the desire line from Uhler Hall. 

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III.3.C West Mall

The potential to fully develop the West Mall is dependent upon the relocation of the Stadium and the football field. Coincidentally, the north entrance of Olin Hall aligns with the south entrance of Lund Center.  This route is also a desire line for student traffic from Schaefer Fine Arts Center to Lund Center.  This connection should be reinforced with a sidewalk and also preserved when building plans within the building development zone are implemented.  There are potential building and parking sites along the Mall which have the potential to add to the quality of the space.  The space between Olin Hall and the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library is sized to be a comfortable courtyard scale. There is a convenient drop-off at the end of the mall adjacent to Campus Drive, which creates an opportunity for a focal point similar to that of Three Flags Quad.

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III.3.D Fine Arts Quad

Pending the implementation of the West Mall development, improvements should be made to the zone west of Schaefer Fines Arts (music and theater.)  The drop-off at the south end of Schaefer Fine Arts could be improved to provide a dedicated drop-off lane and act as a gateway to the Fine Arts complex.  On the west side of the building, a service cul-de-sac could be developed which would allow the service road next to the building to be eliminated.  This will be required eventually, if plans proceed for an addition.  The area between Olin Hall and Schaefer Fine Arts should be improved as a pedestrian zone, with a walkway connection between the two buildings.  The addition to Nobel Hall reinforces the opportunity to enhance the space formed by Olin Hall, Nobel Hall and Schaefer Fine Arts.  Parking should be incorporated in a pedestrian plaza that accommodates visitor and disabled parking.  A second ceremonial entrance to the Arboretum should be developed on the axis with the west entrance to Nobel Hall in order to link this area of the campus with the natural areas of the Arboretum.

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III.3.E  South Residence Halls

Historic Hello Walk extends from Pittman Hall to North/Link/Sorenson Halls, and has a varied character along the way.  Its uniqueness should be reinforced with benches, tree plantings and consistent landscaping.  Exterior social spaces fronting on Hello Walk could be created at Pittman Hall, Sohre Hall, Confer and Vickner Halls, and Anderson Social Sciences.  A series of diagonal cross walks should be added to connect the south residence halls to destinations on the South Mall.  Finally, the campus edge in this and other areas is inconsistently defined.  In some cases a walk is present which is missing in other areas.  Hedge, boulevard and evergreen buffer plantings are uncoordinated.  A consistent campus edge treatment should be established.  The area between Pine House and the South Tennis Courts can be expanded and improved as an informal student recreational space.  The Wahlstrom courtyards should be improved.  The existing parking lot should be expanded and buffered.

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III.3.F  Old Main Mall

Old Main Mall, the bowl shaped topography bounded by Old Main, Rundstrom Hall and Uhler Hall, has a history, charm and character which is unique to the campus. The College Avenue/Old Main axis has been reinforced with canopy tree plantings to be the tree-lined allée originally intended.  Other recent plantings should be selectively removed, pruned or relocated to strengthen views.  Specific diagonal walks should be added to follow the desire lines from Rundstrom and Uhler Halls.  Hello Walk should be strengthened with plantings and benches and extended to connect to sidewalks in the front of the North/Link/Sorenson Halls.  Exterior social space should be provided at Old Main, fronting on Hello Walk.  The service entrance for Carlson Administration Building, along Hello Walk, should be enhanced. Additional exterior social space should be created near the Nicollet sculpture.  The private courtyard inside of Uhler Hall should be landscaped to complement interior social spaces.

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III.3.G  Three Flags Quad

Wayfinding to the Three Flags drop-off and visitor parking can be improved by reconfiguring the intersection of Campus Drive and the access road to Parking Lot A.  Special plantings will help reinforce the new configuration.  Removing vegetation which currently obscures the entrances to North/Link/Sorenson Halls will help connect the Complex back to the campus core.  At Lund Center, plantings should be maintained to highlight the public entrance.  Exterior social space should be created south of the main entrance to Norelius Hall.  The potential exists to create a private courtyard on the north side of Norelius Hall, although the shaded location would make the use of this space seasonable.

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Part 4.  Circulation Design

III.4.A Campus Roadway Plan

The city roadway system that surrounds the College is in the process of being reconfigured, for the reasons discussed in Section III.1.A, Regional Issues.  These alignment revisions are currently being negotiated in discussions between the College and the City.  Changes will inevitably affect the arrival patterns of campus visitors.  Faculty and staff in the future may also arrive from parts of the city or county which are not yet developed.  In Framework Plan review meetings it was agreed that a future campus access road from the west is not desirable because of adverse impacts on the Arboretum and athletic/recreation fields.  The College Avenue entrance will continue to be the main ceremonial arrival route for visitors.  Additionally, it was agreed there is an opportunity to realign the north access to the campus with Sunrise Drive, which is a major north/south collector within the city and connects with County Road 5.

Two schemes have been developed to explore the implications of possible alternative routes for the Nicollet Avenue extension.  Figure III.4.A shows improving the entrance from Jefferson Avenue by plantings and entry treatment.  It also shows the new Sunrise Drive entrance.   

One scheme assumes that the Nicollet Avenue offset will parallel the western edge of the “Gardner 80 Acres,” but then return to the original alignment once past County Road 5.  The other scheme assumes that the Nicollet Avenue offset will parallel the western edge of the “Gardner 80 Acres” and continue due north in this alignment.

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III.4.B Campus Parking Plan

During Framework Plan reviews, parking issues were identified which may require both physical and policy revisions.  The use of parking lots as a development zones necessitates the replacement of lost parking in other areas of the campus.  The College also desires to locate resident student parking relatively close to each residence hall was expressed.  Additionally, city  parking policy is becoming more restrictive and will result in more on-campus parking for commuting and first year students.

The parking diagram shows conceptual parking lot development zones based on Campus Development Plan A.  The diagram does not intend to be a final parking layout, since physical and policy revisions need to be developed simultaneously.  Conceptual parking areas are organized around the five key campus parking needs: first-year student parking, resident student parking, commuting student parking, faculty/staff parking and visitor parking. 

As a general philosophy, resident student parking is located outside Campus Drive, in lots relatively close to each residence hall.  Expanded resident student parking is proposed west of College View Apartments, west of North/Link/Sorenson Halls, east of Wahlstrom Hall, west of Schaefer Fine Arts, and adjacent to the West Mall.

Commuting student and faculty/staff lots are located on the perimeter of the campus core adjacent to academic and student life facilities.  This leaves space available for visitor parking adjacent to key public destination points in the evenings when these lots are vacant. An additional area of staff and College-owned vehicle parking east of Swanson Tennis Center should be expanded adjacent to the relocated shops.

Visitor parking is located near Three Flags, the functional front door of the campus, and south of Schaefer Fine Arts, where it is convenient to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center, Bjorling Recital Hall and Anderson Theatre. 

Overflow parking in athletic/recreation fields for special events would still occur, and is not shown.  A detailed parking lot analysis and plan should be prepared and revised with the implementation of each building development zone.

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III.4.C Pedestrian Circulation Plan

The Pedestrian Circulation Plan shows building development zones from all three campus options juxtaposed with future expansions of the campus walkway systems.  During the analysis of existing circulation and open space conditions, desire lines connecting campus destinations were evident.  In some cases, footpaths were worn well enough to be visible in aerial mapping.  These desire lines are shown as proposed pedestrian walkways. 

Additionally, the open space analysis proposed several opportunities for exterior gathering spaces, similar to Eckman Mall. These spaces include the drop-off west of Christ Chapel, the South Mall, the area between Bjorling Recital Hall and the Sculpture Studio, the area between Olin Hall, Nobel Hall and Schaefer Fine Arts, and west of Lund Center adjacent to the relocated Stadium.  These spaces are all located along major campus walkways that link the critical academic, administrative and student life facilities of the College.  

The paved Arboretum walkway will create a new series of accessible loops.  The Campus Walk around the perimeter of campus will make pedestrian access to all locations easier.

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Part 5.  Utility and Infrastructure Development

III.5.A  Storm Sewer and Sanitary Sewer

The sanitary sewer service from the west campus development will be connected to the City of Saint Peter sanitary sewer.  This in turn connects to Lund Center and runs south, picking up Olin Hall and Schaefer Fine Arts before turning east to run down Jefferson Avenue.  North campus development will be served via the City of Saint Peter sanitary sewer in Myrtle Street. The Stadium will be connected to the sanitary sewer that currently serves Swanson Tennis Center. Analysis on invert depths and capacity of these sanitary sewers has not been provided.

Storm water drainage in the west campus area will be collected from building roof drains and catch basins and piped either to the newly constructed storm sewer infrastructure or to a new storm sewer infrastructure system. The newly constructed storm sewer infrastructure system has been sized taking future development into account. Details of future capacity can be found in the Storm Water Study done in 1999.  A copy of the study is on file at the Physical Plant office.

There are plans for the development of a new filtration pond that also will be a water feature for the Arboretum. The storm water runoff from the southern half of campus will be piped to the new filtration pond. Construction of the pond is scheduled for summer of 2002.

New athletic/recreation fields located in the “Lambert 40 Acres” will utilize sheet drainage, directed by grading to areas which will be set aside for percolation into the soil. Short-term storm water detention may be required.

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