By: Ben Salom
Observant members of the Goucher community might have noticed that trees have been chopped down on the eastern side of campus near the Decker Sports & Recreation Center. Intent on ensuring that those trees were cut down for good reason, The Goucher Eye spoke with Linda Barone, Associate Director of Planning at Facilities Management Services.
Barone told The Goucher Eye that FMS does not take cutting down trees lightly, and will ensure that more are planted in a suitable location. FMS is responsible for the health of the campus’ plant life, and only cuts down a tree when it is critical for development, or if it has been damaged by a strong winds and is at immediate risk of coming down by itself. When possible, new trees will be planted. This is the case with the sidewalk in front of Froelicher which bends to leave trees some space.
When asked why the trees were being cut, Ms. Barone explained that this is merely part of the necessary preparations for the next phase of the ongoing plans to modernize and reorganize the campus. She said, “Those trees needed to be taken down for two reasons. One, is that we’re moving the Froelicher buildings, and they’re in the middle of the path and two, is when when we’re building the next two buildings of the First-Year Village, buildings B and C, the trees were right where the buildings are going to go.”
FMS has made detailed charts of the future ground-plan, including the planned locations of buildings, trees, shrubberies, to ensure that storm water runoff is properly accounted for. Without proper stormwater management, rain could be prone to gathering in stagnant pools, or flush pollutants into the water supply.
Any possible damage to animal habitats incurred by the development will be considered in the construction, in accordance with environmental regulations. Ms. Barone said , “It used to be you just had to create somewhere for the water to go, but now you need to create little pockets of nature, so if there was a wet area [prior to construction], there’ll still be a place where bugs and frogs and that sort of thing can live.”
The actual cutting of the trees is performed by an outside contractor. They will take the trees with them as part of their payment, to grind into mulch or make into planks depending on the size of the tree in question.
At the end of this academic year, Froelicher Hall’s three component houses will be lifted up and moved to their new foundation across the Loop Road, next to the SRC, and in the former spot of the half-sized basketball court and an old brick barbecue grill. Then, two new buildings which have not yet given names, will be built on the former foundations of Froehlicher next to Pagliaro Selz freshman hall. These three buildings will collectively form the First-Year Village, intended to provide a superior social and residential experience for all future Goucher freshmen. These two new buildings are projected to be completed in time for Fall 2018.