Reed College, which prides itself on putting the "liberal" back in liberal arts, tends to draw a pretty green-leaning student body. But the college's expansion plans could soon test its reputation as an eco-friendly outpost.
Reed officials want to build a 100-room dorm on the Southeast Portland campus, and one of the sites they're eyeing is a 1.9-acre community garden that's drawn green thumbs from the Eastmoreland neighborhood for nearly three decades.
The garden plot, near Southeast 28th Avenue and Steele Street, is owned by Reed but administered by the Portland Parks and Recreation department (which has 27 other community gardens).
Reed spokeswoman Wendy Shattuck says the dorm talks are at too early a stage to discuss locations, but Portland Parks officials confirmed that they have been contacted by architects at Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership about the possibility of turning the garden beds into dorm beds.
Reed student-body president Dan Denvir says he has heard rumblings about paving over the garden spot and expects some of the environmentally concerned students and alums would oppose such a move. But ultimately, he notes, the decision will be up to Reed's Board of Trustees.