An all-day strategic planning session involving close to 40 representative stakeholders in Edwardes College too place on Saturday, 2 February 2013, to assist the Management Team in framing a recommendation to the Executive Committee and Board of Governors about how and where the College premises should be expanded to accommodate the Bachelor of Studies degree and other needs the College has as it works toward degree-awarding status.
The invitation letter to about 20 faculty members, 4 students, several Old Edwardians, and leaders in the Diocese of Peshawar and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government stated:
The purpose of this session is to gather major stakeholders in the College to discuss the various possibilities the College should consider in expanding its physical premises, whether by land purchase, building construction or both. Such discussion has been made practical and urgent by the kind and generous grant of funds by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government to Edwardes College, a substantial portion of which is designated for premises expansion.
The final decision on what should be bought or built where and when will take the form of a recommendation by the Management Team to the Board of Governors. However, we believe that the matter is so important and the issues so complex that we will benefit from the advice and counsel of such persons as yourselves.
The session, opened in prayer by Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters, Bishop of Peshawar and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors, opened with a presentation of the College?s history by 1st Vice Principal Prof. Kalim Ullah. 2nd Vice Principal Dr. Yar Muhammad and Director of Studies Naveed Ali Asad then presented details of the current academic programmes of the College, accompanied by a sheet of ?Basic Facts? about Edwardes.
In addition to the Rs 300 million grant from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was received in early January and deposited in the newly established Edwardes College Development Fund, conversation was energized by the designation by the Diocese of Peshawar of about 17 kanals of land (2 acres) on Warsak Road for the permanent use of Edwardes College. Thus, after a tour of the existing Edwardes campus on Mall Road, the group boarded a bus to tour the Warsak Road property.
Back at College, the Principal outlined various aspects of the degree-awarding status that is being sought and the current and future needs of the College. He then presented a list, ?Construction Projects Under Consideration,? which included 11 suggestions developed at large, and invited additional suggestions from the group, which offered 10 additional ideas.
Over lunch, participants met in seven small table groups to discuss the options and make recommendations. Each group then presented its reflections to the plenary group, which discussed them until adjournment at 3pm.
There was general consensus among all groups that an early move of the Edwardes College School, located on the campus since 1979, to its new land in Hayatabad would be desirable because it would free up the existing school buildings for College use. Many thought the BS programme would ideally be located in the present school buildings, especially as it would facilitate separation of the BS students from Intermediate students, who have different needs and requirements..
The other consensus opinion was that an academic building that would include classrooms, departmental offices and examination hall was the top priority in the near term both for the BS programme and or for other academic programmes.
Many other facilities received varying levels of support, including: new library, cafeteria, women?s hostel, indoor athletic facility, faculty and staff housing, new laboratories, men?s hostel, administrative center, entrepreneurial incubation center, prayer rooms for Hindus and Sikhs, faculty study hall, campus waiting room, student-teacher center, clinic, expanded women?s center, and the like. Other suggestions such as an additional tube well have been received since the meeting.
There was wide variation about where to locate various facilities, with some arguing for more construction on campus, with many locations suggested, and others arguing for the use of the Warsak Road property and preserving all the existing campus green space. There was also concern that any new construction reflect the architectural ethos of the original 1910 Mogul-style buildings, not the factory look of the Science Block.
?Clearly the issues are complicated,? commented Dr. Presler after the event. ?That is why we convened this group of stakeholders ? to plow up the issues, let ideas sprout and see which ones we should cultivate. What to build and when and where to build it ? these are the concerns that the Management Team will try to sort through now.? He noted that the College plans to hire a planning consultant to assist with the work.
?Such an event has never before happened in the life of the College, where people were asked for their ideas and participation in a matter this important,? said Prof. Kalim. ?This is a historic day, truly historic!?