February 20, 2007

Purdue completes first phase of master plan update

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University officials have completed the first of three phases of a project to create a new comprehensive master plan for the West Lafayette campus.

The university has hired master planning consultants Sasaki Associates to help develop the new plan, which seeks to anticipate campus needs for facilities and overall campus development during the next several decades.

Purdue's master plan was first developed in the 1920s by Scholer Corp. and has been updated over the years, the last time in 1985. Scholer continues to collaborate with the university and Sasaki on this master planning process.

The current update will seek to be the most comprehensive master plan yet, said Morgan R. Olsen, executive vice president and treasurer. The university has committed $784,000 to Sasaki Associates to complete the project. The funds come from the university reserve for campus improvements.

"This master plan will need to accommodate the expansion of the academic core of our campus in addition to taking into account the needs of Discovery Park, housing, and athletic and recreational fields and facilities," Olsen said. "The master plan also will address the relationship between the campus and the campus village and city around us; the building and open space framework of the campus; and the traffic circulation and parking systems, including the effect of future state highway changes on State Street and Northwestern Avenue."

The first phase of the planning process involved a strategic analysis of campus needs through examination of Purdue's strategic plan, the current campus master plan and meetings with various individuals and groups. Twenty faculty, staff and students are part of the campus master planning committee that has met with consultants and constituents across campus.

"In all, we have had close to 40 meetings with groups and individuals since early October," said John Collier, director of campus planning in the office of the university architect. "Those meetings involved gathering input on how our campus citizens think the plan should be updated and what items are most important to consider in developing a new plan."

Collier said issues that came up frequently in open meetings with students and staff included parking and pedestrian safety, as well as green space and housing.

Now that the analysis phase is complete, Sasaki Associates will move to the second phase, which is to develop alternative designs for near-term and long-term campus development. Alternatives will be shared with campus leaders and in open forums later this year. The third phase is the final master plan and its implementation, expected to be complete in early 2008.

Goals for the master plan include:

• Promoting orderly growth of facilities to support the university's strategic mission and objectives.

• Identifying the best uses for campus land.

• Identifying open space areas and potential areas for residential and co-curricular growth.

• Identifying vehicular circulation options and future pedestrian corridors.

"As we move ahead in this process, our objectives will be to promote orderly growth and attractive development of this university as we continue to help establish a sense of place and community for our students, staff and local citizens," Olsen said. "We are committed to creating a sustainable environment as we look to the future."

Sources: Morgan R. Olsen, (765) 494-9705, mrolsen@purdue.edu

John Collier, (765) 494-6882, jdcollier@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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