First new campus facilities master plan since 2001 to be developed later this year

Central Michigan University will develop a master plan later this year that will look 20 years into the future of the school.

David Burdette, vice president of Finance and Administrative Services, said in an email CMU will take several months to develop modifications to the approved 2001 Campus Facilities Master Plan, which was last officially updated in 2003. The plan before that was released in 1987.

The university has set aside funding for this planning process as part of its overall strategic planning process, Burdette said. He said this part of the planning process follows the current strategic planning process established by University President George Ross.

Claudia Douglass, interim vice provost of Academic Affairs, and Barrie Wilkes, associate vice president of Financial Services and Reporting, are co-chairs of the strategic planning process.

“This is just one part of that plan, but an important part,” Burdette said.

Burdette said CMU’s planning consultant is URS Corporation, an architectural planning and design firm based in Grand Rapids. He said URS last visited CMU during the 2008-09 academic year and the firm is very familiar with CMU’s physical plant and its potential needs.

URS will be invited back to CMU in November or December, Burdette told Central Michigan Life last week. He said this visit is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to hear what URS recommends for the future of capital development at CMU.

URS helps the university understand demographics on a space per student, per classroom basis, Burdette said.

CMU needs to look five to 10 years into the future, but the planning process should actually look at least 20 years into the future to develop a comprehensive view of the university, Burdette said. He said infrastructure, parking, transportation and academic and residential capital needs, including enrollment forecasting, will be considered in the planning process.

Steve Lawrence, associate vice president of Facilities Management, said in an email CMU will work on the Campus Facilities Master Plan later this fall, so it is too soon to discuss possible developments. He said meetings will be held with various administrative and academic groups as well as the Student Government Association and Residence Hall Assembly to help develop the plan.

“The plan won’t focus on specific buildings, but rather on locations for future buildings as well as parking lot locations and traffic pattern changes whether vehicular, bicycle or pedestrian,” he said.

In a meeting last week, Burdette and Wilkes told CM Life that strategic planning has three parts: academic priority, auxiliary and buildings. The university will take the rest of the academic year to figure out when to do each project. Burdette said the master plan would not get underway until academic prioritization is complete.

CM Life reported Monday that Provost Gary Shapiro said he expects to release the results of academic prioritization next week. Academic prioritization began in November 2010, when Shapiro asked all deans to rank their degree programs on importance and funding needs, but the results have been delayed.

Shapiro said the release was delayed because he has been busy with other responsibilities regarding issues with budget, facilities and space.


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