HANOVER – Dartmouth officials are considering land along Lyme Road that once housed the Hanover Country Club for potential expansion that may involve developments in university housing, administrative buildings and park-like space, according to a recently released master plan for middle School.
The plan, which has been in the works for two years and has been approved by college administrators, was posted on the Dartmouth website on Thursday. It describes the college-owned properties that Dartmouth plans to develop or those it aims to redevelop for open space use over the next 30 years. Under this plan, Dartmouth could establish over 700 new housing units in the area and over 680 new units within walking distance of campus.
Vice President of Campus Services Josh Keniston said the strategic plan is meant to be a “broad framework” for what Dartmouth officials hope to accomplish over the next two decades. Over the coming year, officials will focus on developing a “short-term plan” to identify early projects.
“The goal of the strategic plan is to provide a framework and options for new ideas that arise,” Keniston said. “We have a baseline. ”
A central feature of the plan is the development of land along a stretch of Lyme Road, aka Route 10, from the north end of the campus and the Dewey Field parking lot to the former country club and Rivercrest plot owned by the ‘university.
“Part of what we want to do is to really think about how we add new housing,” Keniston said. He said demand for student and faculty housing in the Haute Vallée existed before the pandemic, but the COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated the problem.
One area, in particular, the college hopes to develop is part of the country club, which was used as an 18-hole golf course for 121 years, until the college shut it down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the need for housing, Keniston said the college did not plan to build on the entire site, but rather to focus development on the space adjacent to Lyme Road.
The long-term strategic plan suggests constructing university and administrative buildings and housing for graduate or professional students along Lyme Road and transforming the area surrounding the proposed developments into green space, park-like or recreation grounds. Recreational use could include cross country ski trails or another 18 or 9 hole golf course.
“It’s a big space and not all of the space is suitable for development,” Keniston said. “We want to keep green spaces open. … We want to have a gracious connection with Pine Park.
Near Pine Park and north of Occom Pond, the plan suggests turning the remainder of the old golf course into an arboretum with “opportunities for recreation, research and applied learning,” according to the plan.
Dartmouth economics professor Charles Wheelan, who chaired a research committee on the future of the country club in 2018, said on Friday he supported the college’s overall strategic plan but wanted officials to not have not closed the course. Since the golf course closed last year, much of the course has grown and is now primarily used by walkers and runners.
“If they want a nine-hole golf course, they shouldn’t have let the one there to develop,” Wheelan said on Friday, specifically highlighting suggestions that the area could be reincorporated as a recreation area. . He added that he wished there was a golf course left in the years leading up to any housing development.
“I think an opportunity has been missed because nothing can be built on this site for a while,” said Wheelan.
In addition to developing the old golf course, the strategic plan suggests transforming the Dewey Field into a mixed-use development with underground parking and redeveloping Rivercrest, which housed 30 aging duplex units that were razed to the ground ago. several years, in and housing of professors or staff. The site is located on Route 10 near the Kendal Retirement Community in Hanover.
Authorities are also hoping to improve transport along the Lyme Road corridor with better transit services and cycle paths for easier access to the Dartmouth Organic Farm, just north of the Rinker-Steele Nature Area.
The plan also identifies other areas around the campus for development, such as portions of land north and south of East Wheelock Street and the Lewiston parking lot near an old train station just across the river. Connecticut to Norwich.
Copies of the plan are available at the Baker-Berry Library in Dartmouth and at the municipal libraries in Hanover, Norwich, Lyme, West Lebanon, Lebanon and Hartford.
Anna Merriman can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3216.