January 13, 2020
I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and winter break.
As I mentioned in December, I’ll be communicating with you regularly regarding all aspects of the campus moves initiative. The latest updates are below.
By early February, we will have filed our Institutional Master Plan with the City of Boston. This document presents our 10-year plan for our Residence and Academic campuses, detailing the renovation of the existing Lefavour Hall to accommodate our science program and laying out the One Simmons vision for one, unified campus. Because we had filed our intent to file last May, our plan won’t be a surprise, but it still might elicit some media attention.
The One Simmons plan involves the construction of a Living and Learning Center (LLC) which will include a new dining facility on the academic campus. A successful campus dining program is integral to the vision and objectives of the One Simmons initiative as it contributes to campus community and opportunities for learning, sociability and connectedness.
While the construction of the LLC won’t start for several years, now is the time for Simmons to put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) to dining services vendors — as we want to identify a strategic partner to collaborate with us on the planning and design of a primary dining center. Putting out an RFP is standard practice, and our current vendor Aramark will have the opportunity to bid like any other vendor. We anticipate entering into a new dining partnership for the 2020-2021 academic year.
If we select a partner that isn’t Aramark, our intention is to work with the food service staff you see on a daily basis to join the new partner and stay with us at Simmons, should mutually beneficial employment terms be reached. This is not an unusual practice in these types of negotiations. We have communicated to our Aramark colleagues about this process.
One of our goals in the One Simmons project is to design our campus to be a sustainable, accessible and thoughtfully planned urban space. We are striving to be as efficient as possible when making decisions about office, meeting, and common spaces. The prioritization of student space is first and foremost in our planning strategy. As a result, several offices will be shifted around and some staff and faculty will be moving to different spaces on campus.
You will see minor construction on campus before Commencement to accommodate some moving of offices, but just a reminder that the major moves will occur after Commencement. Also, certain departments will be consolidating their current space and working remotely. University Communications is the first department to do this, and we’ll be working with Advancement to follow suit.
Some of our leased space is also now available for the upcoming campus moves as well. We will let people know well in advance if they will be asked to move, and we will keep informing the entire campus of who has moved where. The second lease is slated to end this spring.
There are many changes to the campus in the works, so I hope you will attend the community meeting in February where we will show you floor plans of our new campus as well as the results of a classroom survey sent to all faculty. Please save the date!
If you have any questions, please email Campus Moves. Thank you for your support and flexibility.