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Campus Master Plan: Shaping the future of campus
Campus Master Plan: Shaping the future of campus
What’s a campus facilities master plan?
A campus facilities master plan is a vision for the future development of a campus. It ensures that the physical environment, both built and natural, serves the needs of the university community, enables the institution to realize its goals, provides an effective place to work and study, and welcomes our neighbors and partners.
Why do we need a campus facilities master plan?
A campus facilities master plan allows the university to plan its growth so physical improvements support the strategic vision. Each element of the campus – academic and administrative spaces, student life, student housing, athletics, open space, infrastructure and land use – will be examined.
Bloomsburg University's Facilities Master Plan is complete. The final projects proposed address the university’s existing and future space needs, including learning and non-learning areas. The plan is based on anticipated enrollment growth and the objectives of Bloomsburg’s strategic plan.
It features a new campus gateway, residential villages consisting of two clusters of residence halls (one on lower and one on upper campus), dining facility, and additional parking. The new Master Facilities Plan estimates that most projects can be completed within 15 to 20 years.
The campus master plan, as a process, consisted of four phases:
➢ Phase 1 - Strategic Review; the process of conducting dialogue with the Campus Community to get feedback about ideas, goals, and concerns for the future facility needs of the campus.
➢ Phase 2 - Functional and Physical Analysis; the process of conducting a physical conditions assessment of the campus facilities to evaluate architectural conditions, code compliance, functionality, and use, which includes a space utilization analysis.
➢ Phase 3 - Solution Development; the process of using analysis data from Phase 2 to work through the Master Plan Steering Committee, University Administration and Council of Trustee Members to develop guiding principles for use in identifying planning priorities based on historical/developing campus use patterns coupled with the vision feedback from Phase 1.
➢ Phase 4 - Planning and Documentation; the process to create the final end product of a facilities plan to be used as a reference and guide over the next 10-20 years as the University makes physical changes to the campus facilities to meet changing educational program needs, student expectations, operational requirements and life cycle replacements. The end product is both hard copy and digital copy providing the Master Plan guiding principles, campus condition assessment, space utilization data, stakeholder input summaries, maps and imagery of multiple development scenarios, construction budget costs financials, schedule of projected funding needs, and a digital “presentation” document for use in future communication and engagement to keep the ideas and concepts current and familiar.
Our Master Plan effort started in August 2012, and at this point at the end of August 2013, Phases one through three are essentially complete, although minor tweaking and adjustment to some of the solution(s) elements continues. Phase 4 completes the process with the final report, and presentation(s) due in October 2013.
When gathering feedback about our campus, several viewpoints tend to stand out. On the positive side the Campus Community considers that:
- Campus classrooms are well utilized
- The Academic Quad green space is a successful outdoor space
- The Sutliff renovation and expansion is a success
- The University’s academic programs are highly regarded
- Scranton Commons is a successful board dining venue
On the less than positive side the Campus Community considers that:
- Existing on-campus student housing stock is insufficient
- The Maintenance Building location now represents the main entry to Campus
- The Lower Campus is disconnected from the Upper Campus
- The Upper Campus lacks adequate amenities, (dining, recreation, social, and study venues)
- Parking on the Lower Campus needs improvement/expansion
- Kehr Union lacks sufficient student-focused spaces
- There is a shortage of research and group study space
- There is a shortage of faculty office space
- The west edge of Campus along Lightstreet Road is an eyesore
In projecting Campus needs going forward, the Master Plan developing principles for projecting future needs are:
- Plan for 1% growth per year in freshman enrollment
- Plan for 10% growth per year for transfer students enrollment
- Provide a minimum of 120 square feet office space per employee FTE
- Provide on-campus housing for 50% of the student population
- Provide adequate parking based on: 1 space per employee FTE, 1 space per commuter student on lower campus, 1 space per every 4 off lower campus student FTE
Using these guiding principles the projected campus needs within the next 10 years are:
- Student Housing Shortages
- Lower Campus: 1,200 beds
- Upper Campus: 800 beds
- Academic Space Shortages
- Classrooms: 30,000 assignable square feet (asf)
- Class/Research Labs: 45,000 asf
- Faculty Offices: 30,000 asf
- Student Life Shortages
- Student Union: 70,000 asf
- Assembly Space: 16,000 asf
- Food Facilities: 30,000 asf
- Study Space: 20,000 asf
- Indoor Athletics: 72,000 asf
Various campus plan “layouts” are being developed considering the information generated to date. Several elements in the consideration of a plan routinely rise to the forefront in the various discussions. They are:
» Relocate the existing Maintenance Building to an alternate location and develop the location to better communicate visitor’s “arrival” to the University Campus entrance.
» Develop/construct some form of a student union at the present Warren Student Services Center to help build a bridge between the academic quad and the lower campus living areas, include the bookstore within, and provide a dining venue closer to the Quad for improved commuter student, visitor, and faculty/staff access.
» Selectively develop the present lower campus residential area to increase the “beds” capacity and provide an expanded “green space” for student use as an alternative to the present Quad.
» Any Upper Campus housing should be designed with increased “beds” capacity and should follow along Swisher Circle to help build a connection with JKA Apartments and help “bracket” the athletic facilities.
» Target the Centennial parking lot as the location when the next academic building is built.
» Establish some form of a “first contact” welcome center to accommodate potential students, visiting alumni, campus event attendees, and only general visitors from the Andruss Library area eastward.
When considering this information and the possibilities listed, it is important to remember that this just a plan, and as such it does not mean that items identified are guaranteed to be done. The helps identify campus priorities and options for consideration depending what and when campus needs and funding develop.
If there is no change or need in a particular area, then that portion of the plan is not done, but what work is done, reflects a broader consideration and awareness of overall campus impact. When considering the 2002 Facilities Master Plan, only 17 of the 29 projects identified for the past ten years were actually completed. While a completion rate of 59% is higher than typical for most campuses, it does reflect the “selective” nature by which work is eventually executed.
A good plan allows and provides for flexibility to remain viable as time brings changes never anticipated when the plan is completed. The work and effort is to finalize such a plan as the end product.