My wife has been encouraging me to write about the “charrette” sessions coming up on Wednesday and Thursday (February 17 & 18). I consider these to be crucial meetings for those of us who care about the future design of our campus. They will present our best opportunity to tell the revitalization architectural team what we want changed and what we want to stay the same.

There will be two Zoom sessions on Wednesday: 8:30-11:00 a.m. for those of us who live in odd-numbered units, and 12:30-3:00 p.m. for even-numbered ones. As I understand it, we will be separated into small groups in break-out rooms to lay out our preferred changes on a map of the campus. On Thursday at 2 p.m., there will be another Zoom session at which all of the maps from Wednesday will be presented.

The materials and the Zoom link. Residents with email will have received an email from Connie Dilley on February 10 containing three documents. They are also available on at and those of you who do not have a green dot on your mailbox in the Center will also have gotten a printed copy.

The first document is a memo from Seth Beaver, containing the dates and times and, crucially, the Zoom link to participate.

Below Seth’s memo on the website, you will find links to two more items: one called “Recap of Focus Group Sessions” (which simply lists the many responses to the focus-group questions we were asked back in November) and another called “Kendal at Longwood Master Plan Charrette”. That’s the most critical one for this week.  Here’s a direct link to it: Let’s call it the “charrette plan”.

What are we being asked to do? You’ll want to read through the entire charrette plan (which is a 13-page presentation), but the last four pages are the part where you’ll spend the most time. The very last page (page 13) is a campus map, with 12 rectangles overlaid on it. It looks like this:

On page 10, you will find the “Kendal at Longwood Program”, which is a set of features we will be asked to add to the map in our breakout sessions. It looks like this:

What you can see is that we will be asked to add 30 units (some combination of cottages and apartments) to the map, at least 10 of them apartments in a building attached to the Center. We will also add 20 parking spaces plus parking for 6 buses, a small building for the transportation office, a storage building, and three “outdoor amenities” (which could be gazebos, pavilions, sports areas, an amphitheater, or whatever else we can imagine). We also are asked to suggest where an addition to the Center might go. In addition, we are asked to come up with new uses for the Barn (which is currently storage).

The bus parking, transportation office, and storage building are all needed because those functions are currently housed in the Mott Center at Crosslands, which is due to be replaced by residences. (Crosslands residents are also being asked to suggest possible new locations for these features on that campus.)

This will be a challenging exercise, given that it requires either taking some of our open space and placing something in it, or clearing an area of trees to make a new open space. I would not like to see any tree clearing unless it’s absolutely unavoidable, and I’m betting there are many residents who would agree on that.

Where to start. I would suggest starting with a paper copy of the map on page 13. If you didn’t receive a paper copy, you can print one out. I took my copy and started marking potential locations for the various features listed on page 10 of the charrette plan.

I found it was relatively easy to find spots for some “outdoor amenities” such as gazebos. The hardest part, for me at least, was placing all the “new units”, so I did that last.

Be creative! You can propose that buildings be torn down and replaced. You can put parking (new or existing) underground.

Does this seem like a lot of work? Of course it does. But it is essential if you want a say in what our campus will become. Please give this some serious thought between now and Wednesday!