Planning board in West Windsor to review plans for Princeton University’s 60-acre ‘Lake Campus North’ Wednesday

A rendering of the initial framework plan for Princeton University’s Lake Campus. File photo, Princeton University illustration.

The planning board for West Windsor is slated to review plans Wednesday night to develop a 60-acre Princeton University site that will be called “Lake Campus North.” The site is located north of Washington Road.

Princeton University officials are proposing to build a 329,000-square-foot graduate student housing complex that will include 379 apartments in three buildings. The proposed buildings are three stories tall. The complex will include a cafe and community room, a garden, a play space, a volleyball court, and barbeque areas.

The campus will also include a 180,000-square-foot racquet center, an operations area, and rugby and recreation fields. The racquet center will be the new home for Princeton’s varsity squash and tennis teams, which will relocate from their existing facilities at Jadwin Gym in Princeton. The facility will include indoor tennis courts, indoor squash courts, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, sports medicine facilities, and a fitness center that will serve the campus. Outdoor tennis courts and bleacher seating will be connected to the east side of the building.

Rugby fields and recreation fields will be relocated from their current location along Washington Road to the northern portion of the project site, bounded to the west by Nursery Drive and to the north by the existing nursery operation. The mowed grass fields will include field goals on each of the three rugby fields and a scoreboard, which will be relocated from the existing fields. The fields will not include field lighting. A small operations area will include four compactors for the storage and pickup of trash and recycling from campus facilities. The area will be screened within a fence enclosure.

The Lake Campus North land is currently occupied by mowed grass fields used for Princeton’s rugby club team, general campus recreation, and a practice area for the hammer and discus throw. The area also includes a lightning shelter and locker room facility for rugby teams, Nursery Drive, an access road for vehicles extending between Harrison Street and Washington Road, multiple smaller roads used for contractor and visitor parking, woodlands lining the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, and a soil recycling and mulch yard.

The project is part of the Lake Campus General Development Plan, a plan for the development of university-owned land between Route 1 and the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park between Washington Road and Harrison Street in West Windsor. The planning board in West Windsor approved the general development plan for the 107-acre in January of 2020. The plan describes the phased development of the area over the next 20 years. The Lake Campus North plan is the second major site plan being reviewed by the planning board as part of the general development plan. The board approved the first major site plan, Lake Campus South, on April 28.

Lake Campus South, a 35-acre project on the north side of Washington Road east and west of the existing intersection at Tiger Lane, will include new roadways and utilities, multiple buildings, athletics facilities, and a parking garage.

The TIGER-CUB will be a single-story structure immediately east of the garage that houses geo-exchange utility equipment. The building will connect to two thermal energy storage tanks, electrical transformers, and a generator. The equipment in the building will connect with 156 geo-exchange bores beneath a new softball stadium field. The bores extend 600 feet into the ground and allow for the transfer of heat from the ground for heating and cooling of campus buildings.

The new softball stadium for Princeton’s softball team will replace the current, temporary facility on the east campus in Princeton. The new facility will be located near the northern end of the new campus road, at roughly the existing intersection of Tiger Lane and the gravel contractor road. The stadium includes a turf field, batting cages, restrooms, and bleacher seating for 300 spectators. Stadium lights will be provided on six light poles that are 70-feet tall. Recreation fields east of the softball stadium will be partially relocated from their current position along Washington Road. They will not include field lighting.

The Lake Campus Garage will be a 5-level parking garage serving the needs of both the north and south Lake Campus area over time. The garage will be located east of Tiger Lane and drivers will park immediately upon entering the new campus. In its initial phase, the garage will include 612 spaces across two parking structures. An additional parking structure with 325 parking spaces has been designed and will be a banked for future use as needed.

The planning board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. West Windsor planning board meetings are being held in person at the West Windsor Township Senior Center’s Activities Room at 271 Clarksville Road. Attendees must submit a health questionnaire when they arrive.

One Comment

  1. How is the Princeton University build-out going to impact the air quality and peace & quiet quality of living within the Princeton tree street area?

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