Facilities master plan to cost CMU $1.6 million
Central Michigan University’s Board of Trustees approved Thursday a $1.6 million facilities master plan that would shape the future of campus.
The plan, which includes planning for possible site locations and parking flows, was first brought up in October when David Burdette, vice president for finance and administrative services, sent out an email to the university community.
The last master plan was completed in 2001 and was later updated in 2003.
“The master plan process will support the university’s goals, mission and values,” University President George Ross said during the trustees meeting. “It will strengthen the vitality of CMU’s academic community and the environment for students’ success.”
Burdette said CMU will begin negotiating with firms this month, including SHWGroup – the same architecture firm that designed the Education and Human Services building and done preliminary work on the proposed Bioscience building – and hopes to have them on board by August.
The contractors will then be tasked with completing a basic review of facilities and making recommendations for land use and space utilization. Burdette said CMU plans to involve faculty, students and staff through committee meetings.
Ultimately, a report will be presented to Ross, hopefully by April 2013, Burdette said.
“We sit in this air conditioned room and take it for granted,” Ross said. “There’s a whole lot of work beyond the infrastructure to make this work. It’s going to help us understand the condition of facilities … and help us plan the next 10 to 20 years on the infrastructure side.”
In addition, the master plan will also help determine future academic planning, to the delight of Ross.
He said facilities might be determined based on the curriculum taught and future plans for education over the next several decades.
“We’ve got to understand that better,” he said. “Rather than react, we can be proactive once we understand facility conditions.
“It’s not necessarily how often we use a room, but they will be aligned with what we’re teaching. We’ll have to make some projections about what courses look like … that’s why the prioritization was so important to us. What do we want to be teaching five to 10 years from now?”
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