SARATOGA SPRINGS — In an email sent to Skidmore College students and faculty on Feb. 18, President Philip Glotzbach announced that the start of construction on the new Athletics Facilities will be paused. The email cited comments made from community members concerning environmental and financial sustainability, as well as the future of the campus’ Greenberg Child Care Center (GCCC), as responsible for the update.
The email, however, comes as a bit of a shock as the President had recently sent a six page memo describing the decision and why the concerns, while justified, did not outweigh the need for the new facility.
The Athletics Facilities project, as it is referred to by the President and his office, comes from the 2007 Campus Plan, and, according to the memo, planning for it has been underway since 2010. The Athletics Council was notified last spring of new proposals, and approved plans were described at Community Meetings on October 29, 2019 and at an Open Forum on November 25, 2019
However, the President also acknowledges that there could have been more done last spring to “inform and involve” the IPPC.
In the initial memo, the President writes that “Over the coming years, we will encounter increasingly fierce competition for the students we need to enroll to maintain our financial sustainability.” He claims that this project will increase the college’s appeal to “a broad range of potential applicants.”
Continuing comments were discussed at an IPPC meeting on Fri., Feb. 14, after which it was decided to pause construction in order to further address and consider concerns.
In the most recent email, Glotzbach urges students and concerned community members to attend an Open Forum that will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Thurs., March 5 in Gannett Auditorium. There will also be community meetings at both 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tues., March 3 on the second floor of the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall.
Skidmore’s Student Affairs has also scheduled their own opportunities for students to either learn more about the facility or raise their complaints. These, however, will be announced at another time.