Community Questions Tree Removal On Choate Construction

Photo by Grayce Gibbs/The Choate News

Facilities cuts down trees for various reasons, but many believe new trees should replace them.

The Choate community will soon undergo the cutting down of trees in the construction site next to the PMAC, where the new auditorium is to be built. The space ranges from behind the PMAC to near the Great Lawn; in the light of the tree removal near Lanphier, some students and faculty have expressed concern about the removal and eventual replanting of these trees. Head of Facilities Mr. Mark Cappello, who overlooked the project, explained, “The only tree and brush removal that I am aware of is that which is associated with the construction of our new auditorium.”

“Everything that is currently in the footprint of the new building will be removed. It is necessary to do this so that the construction can proceed,” added Mr. Cappello. “This is the only reason why we are removing the trees in this area.” No other trees that are not in the specified area will be removed, and it is hoped by the Choate community that these trees will be replanted on other property.

However, the building plans for the new auditorium do include greenery, and the importance of the trees being cut down is not forgotten. Explained Mr. Cappello, “Trees are a wonderful resource and add beauty to the campus. Our trees need to be valued and protected. The landscape plan for the new building calls for the protection and preservation of the trees that are growing outside of the building footprint. New trees will also be planted around the building to add beauty and functionality to the landscape.”

Students expressed concerns about the tree removal. “The Choate community should be more aware of this because I do not think that many people are,” explained Aurelie Temsamani ’20. “After cutting down the tree near Lanphier, I think that the administration should do its best to replant these trees and reinstate the environment that they cut down. However, it is exciting that the development of the new auditorium is taking place and I am looking forward to that space, despite the environmental repercussions.”

The Facilities Department looked to the Choate community to shed a positive light on the cutting down of the trees. Mr. Cappello concluded, “Just like Facilities, members of the campus community place a very high value on our campus greenscape.”

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