Trent University has announced that it will be holding a community workshop on Tuesday, November 27 to begin the process of creating a Trent Lands Plan to guide the future development of the University’s 226 hectares of endowment lands. The workshop, which will be held at the Holiday Inn on George St. at 6:30pm, has been billed by the administration as an event aimed at garnering community involvement and support for the project.
Tuesday’s workshop represents the first in a series engagement initiatives which will be put on by the University’s newly struck Presidential Steering Committee on the Trent Draft Development Plan Community Consultation Process over the course of the next six months. The Lands Plan website notes that there will be “multiple and varied opportunities” for the community to participate and offer feedback and suggestions on “the guiding principles, general framework and specific decisions that will ultimately shape the final Plan.” This approach represents a marked contrast from the processes the administration used to plan the Water Street Residence and the 2006 Endowment Lands Master Plan which were both heavily criticized by students and community members for their lack of engagement and transparency.
The Trent Lands Plan can be considered the successor to the university’s unreleased Draft Development Plan which was kept largely under wraps by administrators over the past several months. During an interview in October, Trent President Steven Franklin hinted that the major capital priorities of the Draft Development Plan included, among other things, a sustainable village at the intersection of Nassau Mills Rd. and Armour Rd., which featured prominently in Trent’s recent Strategic Mandate Agreement, a students centre adjacent to Bata Library and an expansion of the Environmental Science building. It is therefore expected that these projects will feature to some degree in the new Lands Plan.
According to university administration, the Lands Plan will build upon the existing strategies laid out in the University’s 2006 Endowment Lands Master Plan, the 2004 Athletics Master Plan and Ron Thom’s original 1964 Master Plan which are all available online.
Trent has hired two Toronto-based consultancy firms The Planning Partnership and Greenberg Consultants to lead the initiative.