Dear Saint Mary's College Community,

Over the weekend of March 9 - 10, the President's Cabinet and College Trustees convened for an annual planning retreat. The meeting was organized around dialogue on strategic planning, mission, and facilities. I am writing to share important outcomes from the meeting.

First, trustees authorized the College to begin seeking financial support for the construction of a student activity and recreation center to be housed on the current site of Louis Guisto Field, and to create a new baseball facility elsewhere on campus. The estimated cost to complete these projects, including endowments, is $87 million: $15 million for the baseball field and $72 million for the activity and recreation center, including an underground parking structure. These approvals follow on the Board's action at its January meeting to pursue funding for a new $17 million art museum.

In recent years, we have added or planned three buildings serving the academic and co-curricular needs of students and the College community: Brousseau Hall; Syufy Performing Arts Center; and Filippi Academic Hall, which will be dedicated in early 2008.

Investing in contemporary facilities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to gather informally for recreational and co-curricular activities is also strategically important as Saint Mary's strives to remain competitive in its admissions efforts while continuing to enhance the overall student experience. We will update you as plans are formalized for development activities in support of these and other important campus facility projects.

Trustees also acted on several other facility-related fronts:

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Requested that steps be taken as soon as possible to pursue necessary improvements to residence halls and campus food services. This will include renovating Oliver Hall, allowing for expanded food options and additional student dining space.
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Expressed support for a series of campus space reallocations to occur in coming months. These include the establishment of a Visitor's Center to support enrollment programs, and office moves enabling the first floor of De la Salle Hall to be restored as an attractive area for student activities).
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Approved a series of campus energy conservation and sustainability measures, following the successful implementation of similar measures since 2003 that have delivered considerable savings in energy and water usage. These measures will be implemented this summer.

Pete Michell will report in coming weeks on the various facility improvement initiatives.

In St. La Salle,

Brother Ronald Gallagher

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