Following a meeting with leaders from Orange’s Old Towne Preservation Association, Chapman officially announced it will suspend its plans for expansion until 2016 or later with the goal of taking the concerns of its neighbors into consideration.
The Old Towne Preservation Association, a group that works to restore the historical integrity of Old Towne Orange, actively opposed Chapman’s plans for expansion. Sandy Quinn, president of the association, said that he is pleased to hear about the postponement.
“We compliment (President Jim) Doti and Chancellor (Daniele Struppa) for being concerned about the community and wanting to listen and to find reasonable agreements regarding these issues,” Quinn said. “We want them to address the corresponding issues that come with expansion.”
The issues in question include student housing, parking, infrastructure and public safety.
Quinn stressed that the organization is not opposed to the university.
“I love the university,” he said. “I think it brings great energy, youthfulness and spirit as well as a much respected academic rating that has gone up considerably in just the past few years…I have great respect for (President Doti), the chancellor and the senior staff there.”
Quinn said it is important to addresses the issues that come with growth, mainly student housing.
“We suggested that Chapman separate that from the suspension and proceed on student housing,” he said. “I think if you are going to increase student enrollment, you have to find places for them to live, as well. That would help resolve the other issues.”
And Chapman agreed, as the university is postponing all plans for expansion except for student housing in the hopes of decreasing noise from students.
“More students living on campus will result in fewer students living in off-campus housing, thus mitigating noise and traffic concerns,” Doti wrote in a letter to the Orange community.
He explained that Chapman suspended the expansion plan in order to spend more time working with its neighbors in Orange.
“We know there are many other issues to discuss: student noise, traffic, party houses, etc.,” he wrote. “We’ll follow up soon with another letter discussing those issues in more depth.”
For more information on the expansion, click here.