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* SCC takes step toward new master plan

Representatives from across Shoreline Community College got an early glimpse at what the campus could look like in 2035.


Consultants Walter Schacht and Cima Aslani unveiled two preliminary looks at a potential master plan for the college. Faculty members, classified staff and administrators – members of the college Strategic Planning Committee, College Council and others - filled the Board Room Tuesday, May 12, 2009, to see the presentation. The meeting was one in a series the consultants are using to better understand the needs of the campus community. Both proposals showed significant differences from what the college looks like today and addressed three core problems with the current college layout.


“When we looked at the existing site, we found a lack of a formal main entrance, lack of clarity in parking and problems with stormwater runoff,” Schacht said.  Aslani talked about the lack of clear pedestrian traffic patterns. “We sometimes refer to this school as the “Chutes and Ladders” campus,” she said, referring to the children’s board game with multiple ways to move about.


In general, the two early proposals coalesce numerous smaller buildings into fewer larger buildings, but preserve the current sense of open space. "We're trying to give a plan that in 50 years, the buildings are renovated," Schacht said. "You have a nice looking campus, but at the end of (the buildings') useful life, have to be thrown away."


Both plans would rework the entrance area along with a new building that would house most of the current student services offerings. Both reworked the existing parking into a more coherent, grid-like layout.


Stormwater is a big problem, Schacht said. “The current system collects and discharges it into Boeing Creek,” he said. That would have to change to meet current runoff standards he said. One idea is to use the existing piping, but utilize the lower Greenwood parking lot as a stormwater detention area. “It could become a high performance sustainable solution (to runoff),” he said. To compensate for the loss in spaces, both plans show the current soccer field as an additional parking area.


Landscaping would also play an important role in mitigating runoff, he said. Bioswales and plantings between parking rows would filter stormwater. On campus, many of the current large trees would remain and additional features such as rain gardens and decorative cisterns would reflect the current landscaping theme.


The other thing common to both of the tentative proposals is a long timeline. Funding for any of the work would have to be approved by the state Legislature which funds in two-year cycles.


“Even if you’re incredibly fortunate and get something each biennium, it would take 25 years for either of these plans to happen,” Aslani said.


Schacht made it clear that the plans presented Tuesday were preliminary and that much could change before the next regulatory step, presenting a plan to city of Shoreline officials for approval. The master-plan process was put in place by the city council this past fall.


Schacht said more work is needed before that step. “I think the next step for us, for the college, is to talk to state officials,” he said.

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