The campus is divided into three sections: the Upper Ranch (the dorm, faculty houses, the boardinghouse, the art studio, the blacksmith, the wood shop, the museum, the music room, the library, the lab, and the Main Building), the Lower Ranch (the horse and cattle corrals, the garden, the greenhouse, the horse barn, the dairy, alfalfa and barley fields, and some staff housing), and the greater Deep Springs Valley.
Upper Ranch - the "College"
The buildings in the upper ranch are situated around a dirt road that encloses the Main Circle, a patch of green in the center of campus where soccer and Frisbee games take place. The buildings are well built, clean, and elegant in an unassuming way. The façades are all gray stucco; they have a habit of fading into the gray backdrop of the valley walls. Most of the new buildings have porches that face away from the main circle and are good for quiet time. The architecture around the Main Circle is intended to draw attention away from the center of campus, into the desert.
The Main Building houses our modest library, some faculty and administrative offices, the main room where public speaking, DSPACs, Student Body meetings and other major community events take place, and two classrooms. It also houses the computer lab, the reading room, the dark room, the Time-Shack (our extensive record collection), and the Deep Springs Archives.
The Glorious Peoples' Library has approximately 26,000 volumes and is managed by our librarian Jill Brewer. The stacks run perpendicular to each side of a neat corridor. The ceilings are high, skylit and angled and the walls have large windows that light the space with clean natural light. It's a good place to get some reading or a paper done.
Often Jennifer Rapp, our Humanities Chair, holds Sunday morning yoga classes in the central "main room." Every Deep Springer stands behind the wooden pulpit in the main room to give a speech about fifteen times before leaving the valley.
Faculty often invite students over to eat dinner, watch movies, and just hang out. Most faculty enjoy having students over whenever they're around and free. The rule of thumb is that students are welcome at community members' houses whenever their porch lights are on. Porch lights stay on well into the night.
The Lower Ranch is the functional arm of the campus. It's where the dairy cows, the pigs, the sheep, the chickens, the geese, the horses, the bulls and the heifers live. It's also home to the garden and the greenhouse. Lining the west side of the dairy road, a row of wide American elms features a tire and rope swing. The trees provide shade for the pigs and the leppy calves that were abandoned by their mothers. Ruth, Lilith, and Olivia, our dairy cows, live in a corral on the left, just beyond the shade of the trees during midday. The dairy barn is one of the oldest buildings on campus, older, in fact, than the college itself.
The road that leads down to the lake runs past the metal dump, where students sometimes hold impromptu percussion symphonies, and the dead animal dump. Other than the Butcher, students don't hang around the dead animal dump so much. If you were to follow the road down past the metal dump, you'd end up at Deep Springs' dry lake and the lake corrals, which is where the cattle herd is gathered, inoculated, and pregnancy tested each fall.
The orchard, garden, and greenhouse encircle the chicken coop. The garden is situated across the road from the horse corral, the barn, the cowboy house and irrigator shed. The cowboy house and irrigator shed are two of the oldest buildings at the college.
The bullpen is on the other side of the campus, just behind the lower reservoir, which is a great place to escape to during the day. It's home to many birds and a mess of willow reeds that allow contemplation and a brief sense of separateness from the landscape and life at the college. An open kayak can be used to float across the water's surface.
The upper reservoir is much smaller than the lower reservoir. It is also a great place to swim during the warmer months. The Polar Bear Club thinks it's great during the colder months as well, especially when the sauna is in working condition.