More than 200 contribute to first master plan data collection session

Adam Niemi/Staff Photographer James Persyn III, 14, holds up his Lifesaving Award for others to see as his sister Acelin, 11, stands beside him on Tuesday in the Isabella County Building. James Persyn III and Acelin received the awards for giving a Central Michigan University student refuge after escaping her captor on Jan. 16.

Central Michigan University is continuing efforts to formulate an agreeable campus master plan.

The campus master plan team hosted an open charrette Tuesday afternoon dedicated to seeking input from people on campus about walking routes on campus, parking arrangements, landscaping and other topics. More than 200 people from across campus contributed.

“By the time we finish, we hope to have a plan for the university campus,” Ian Lockwood, an engineer for professional management support services company AECOM, said at the discussion. “It’s important to think long-term. The plan should carry us out into the foreseeable future and for the next ten years.”

Included in the master planning process is a study on space utilization and optimization, facility condition and utility assessments and land use recommendations.

The workshop was open for all students, faculty, staff and alumni Tuesday during the day and will open again today from 1 until 7 p.m.

“What we’re doing now is just listening,” Lockwood said. “Everyone is telling us what they like, the things that need to be changed and the things that need to be created.”


Kirsten Kearse/Staff Photographer Marketing Research Manager Robert Hassen discusses car traffic at the Campus Master Plan forum in the Ausable room in the Bovee University Center.

The workshop, which was held in the Ausable room of the Bovee University Center, offers students the opportunity to answer specific questions so their input might be included in the master planning process.

Posters lined the walls of the room, asking people to place stickers on various locations around campus for their picks for “most beautiful place on campus” and “biggest parking headache," among others.

According to Lockwood, CMU is working with nearly every department on campus, as well as the city of Mount Pleasant, Isabella County and the state of Michigan. Answers to the questions presented during the workshop will be essential to formulating a new campus master plan.

“We really want people to come and see what’s going on,” Lockwood said. “That’s the only way we can create a better plan.”

The last master plan was released in 2001 and was updated again in 2003.  According to Director of Plant Engineering and Planning Linda Slater, this upcoming master plan is being created through more comprehensive efforts.

“The first half of the year is dedicated mainly to data collection,” Slater said. “We are just beginning to analyze that data and public opinion.”

The data collection process culminated to yesterday’s and today's charettes and will continue with the formal drafting of a Campus Master Plan on Feb. 25, 26 and 27, which will be open to the public.

“It’s really a cool thing,” Lockwood said. “We’re doing all the drafting right here in the open. Anyone can come in to ask questions or make suggestions. We are really trying to make it an open process.”

Lockwood hopes to have a completed master plan by this summer.


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