Published: Fall 2000 in College News

Completing the Campus

After years of careful study and community-wide discussion and review, Westmont has developed an updated master plan for completing the campus.This plan has guided the objectives of the capital campaign, and the initial phase of completing the campus will begin with the construction of two buildings essential to the continued success of our academic mission, one for the visual arts and one for the sciences. The master plan also protects the environment, preserves the historic character of Kerrwood Hall and the surrounding community, and enhances views of the ocean and mountains.

A growing interest in the visual arts and a new emphasis in art history has heightened demand for a larger and more sophisticated arts facility. The new visual arts building will be located at the center of campus, highlighting the importance of the arts in the context of Westmont’s liberal arts tradition.

The proposed facility will provide studio spaces for drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, and crafts, as well as a computer graphics facility and a slide library. A separate structure will house a new sculpture studio, providing indoor and outdoor work spaces and a faculty office. Larger classroom areas and a projection room are also planned to support the new offerings in art history and for general use.

Westmont’s popular and highly regarded art gallery will be considerably expanded in the new complex. The additional space devoted to exhibitions will strengthen an enormous asset to Westmont and the Santa Barbara community, and will enhance our ability to draw prominent shows to campus.

As an integral part of a new academic paseo developed in the master plan, the arts building will enrich campus life by encouraging increased collaboration among the visual and performing arts, and rendering the arts more visible and more accessible to all.

Westmont has many reasons to be proud of its exceptional science program. We have one of the finest science faculties at any liberal arts college in the country, and our gifted science majors are welcomed into the nation’s most prestigious graduate programs. The addition of this building for the sciences will provide a more suitable environment for an outstanding program. The new facility will bring together the departments of physics, psychology, mathematics, and computer science. Science faculty and students will enjoy increased and more flexible classroom space, laboratory space, faculty offices, computer laboratories, and a multimedia lecture hall.

Uniting these fields within a single building will promote interaction among the various disciplines and enhance interdisciplinary teaching and research. At the same time, students and faculty will be able to work easily with biology and chemistry colleagues in the nearby Whittier Science Building.

Strengthening this program will enhance our efforts to attract and retain first-rate faculty and the kind of students who will most benefit from a Westmont education. Beyond the campus, Westmont alumni will be better prepared to meet the growing demand for science majors at graduate schools and in the workplace.

Westmont has a long-standing commitment to the importance of physical fitness and healthy competition as a part of a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum. Talented and ably-coached athletes have established a tradition of superb performances, earning Westmont a national reputation for its intercollegiate athletic program. The campaign will help construct an all-weather track, a new soccer field within the track, and permanent spectator seating to support more appropriately the level of our fine program.

Westmont is committed to providing affordable housing for it exceptional faculty, and has built 30 such homes adjacent to campus, with approval to build 11 more. These homes are a valuable asset in attracting and retaining outstanding professors. Students also benefit as the Las Barrancas community fosters the close, informal relationships with faculty that lie at the heart of our residential program.

In addition, the campaign will fund significant improvements in all five Westmont residence halls, adding new lounge furnishings, replacing room furniture, enhancing study areas, and provide additional computer access. Daily life in the residence halls forms the heart of the Westmont experience. Expanding Deane Field will create more space for intramural and club sports and affirm the value of fitness as a lifelong activity.

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