Campus facilities 'master plan' on delay

The Campus Facilities Master Plan has diverted from its proposed timeline, and university officials don’t seem to have an explanation for the delay.

Central Michigan University modified the 2001 plan in 2003, and Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services David Burdette told Central Michigan Life in October that funding for the project was outlined in the overall strategic planning process established by University President George Ross. The master plan is designed to give a comprehensive view of what campus should look like after 20 years.

According to the initial timeline for the project, URS Corporation, CMU’s planning consultant based out of Grand Rapids, was scheduled to visit campus in November or December. At that time, students, faculty and staff were to be informed of what URS suggested for the development of campus.

Burdette said Wednesday the visit from URS never happened and deferred further comment to Steve Lawrence, associate vice president of Facilities Management.

“URS Corporation didn’t come,” he said. “The facilities master plan had to follow the strategic planning process, and everything is on hold until the fall. We’re bringing an architectural firm to campus sometime late summer for the fall semester.”

Lawrence told CM Life in October that various administrative and academic groups, including the Student Government Association and Residence Hall Assembly, would be involved in the development of the plan. He did not return multiple phone calls and an email seeking comment.

The master plan will highlight three aspects: academic priority, auxiliary and buildings. The master plan was scheduled to begin once Academic Prioritization was complete, Burdette said in October. Provost Gary Shapiro first introduced his recommendation for Academic Prioritization in October, calling for 16 percent of programs to be eliminated and an additional 31 percent for reduction. President Ross allocated $5.8 million to Category 1 and 2 programs during a February Board of Trustees meeting.

Barrie Wilkes, associate vice president of Financial Services and Reporting, said the facilities master plan and strategic planning process go hand in hand.

“Campus master plan does tie in with the strategic plan,” he said. “The facilities master plan needs to take into consideration the campus master plan before anything can be done.”

URS did not return a message seeking comment by the time of publication.


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