Over the past several weeks, our team has been considering the feedback we received regarding the plans for our Village Campus during our February community meeting, in conversations with our Community Advisory Committee (which includes representation from several key neighborhood, business and civic organizations) and continued internal discussions.
As noted in previous communications, our goals for the updates to the Village Campus included improving safety and circulation, creating better access to parking, reducing WHOI traffic on Water Street and adding parking to the Village campus (to reduce need for parking on the Main Dock). The feedback that we heard during the public meeting and in other settings reinforced that the community valued the informal open spaces on the campus and the legacy of shared use of this privately-owned space. In particular, there were concerns that the proposed extension of Challenger Drive through the campus and exiting onto School Street would disrupt some of the contiguous open space that currently exists adjacent to the community gardens.
Our team at Dewing Schmid Kearns (DSK), the architecture firm that assisted WHOI with its Strategic Facilities Assessment, has been considering a number of alternatives to the plans we originally presented. While that process is still underway, our future plans remove the proposed Challenger Drive extension and maintain the contiguous green space from the gardens to Woods Hole Road. The key options we are considering allow direct access to expanded parking from Woods Hole Role at Challenger Annex.
The preliminary plans were presented last week to the Community Advisory Committee and we are considering their feedback as we finalize the update to our plans (download a few key slides we presented). In addition, we are considering other feedback received during the meeting and assuring that our proposals improve pedestrian safety, limit the impact of lighting and support continued use of alternative modes of transportation.
We will continue to keep you informed as these plans evolve. We expect to share updated proposals at an informal meeting of the Falmouth Historical Commission in April and will certainly share that information directly with you as well.
On behalf of the entire WHOI team, I thank the community for its participation and feedback.