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Changes Abound

The transformation of town and gown is moving apace

For the last couple of months, motorists driving north or south along Chester Road past the College have been experiencing quite a change in how they travel through the Ville of Swarthmore at the edge of the College campus. Approaching the railroad underpass, they soon encounter a roundabout, which joins a relocated Field House Lane, Rutgers Avenue, and the center of the Ville. The new intersection provides a clearer and safer means of navigating between the College, the borough’s business district, and the SEPTA regional train station. According to Jan Semler, director of capital planning and project management, the center of the intersection, which in the past provided a convenient snow storage area, will become a green oasis when trees and shrubs are planted this fall.  

Completion of the roundabout has allowed progress to proceed on erection of the latest addition to the College campus, slated to open in time for Commencement 2016. The Inn at Swarthmore will have 40 guest rooms and suites and three meeting rooms. The Broad Table Tavern will provide a variety of dining experiences, including an outdoor terrace for seasonal dining. The reimagined College bookstore will open as the Swarthmore Campus and Community Store, with more space, better visibility, and expanded offerings of fair trade and locally and regionally produced items, in addition to textbooks, mass-market books, and the quirky general merchandise for which the store is known. Semler noted that the genesis of the project, bringing together the College and the Ville, has carried through the design of the project and is reflected in the names of the inn, the restaurant and the store. The entire project is designed to provide an inclusive, convivial environment for gown and town: faculty, staff, students, families of current and prospective students, visitors, Board members, vacationers—everyone.