Draft of campus master plan shares 10-year vision for UT facilities

December 7, 2016 | Events, News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

Tonight The University of Toledo will share a draft of its campus master plan, which establishes a 10-year vision for University facilities.

The presentation at 6 p.m. in the Nitschke Hall SSOE Seminar Room will be led by Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities and construction, and Doug Kozma, co-leader of planning practice for Smith Group JJR, the consulting firm assisting with the plan.

Business Hlogo 1c BlackThe presentation, which is open to UT faculty, staff and students, as well as alumni and the public, will be streamed live on the University’s YouTube page for those unable to attend in person. The recording of the full presentation also will be available afterward at the same link.

“This plan reflects the many ideas we’ve gathered from stakeholders during the last 18 months to maximize the function and efficiency of our assets,” Toth said. “I hope our community agrees this plan will benefit our students, faculty and staff and will guide future decision making related to the physical assets on our campuses.”

The master plan, which will next go to the UT Board of Trustees for consideration, is focused on four themes: repositioning the academic core, investing in research, consolidating athletics, and enhancing student life.

Repositioning the academic core

The draft of the plan to be presented tonight includes renovations of classroom buildings among the first projects to reposition the academic core. Snyder Memorial Building, Stranahan Hall and McMaster Hall are candidates for such activity. The Thompson Student Union also looks to be renovated, while renovations to Carlson Library continue.

The grassy area south of Memorial Field House will be redesigned to have wide sidewalks and landscaping to better connect Centennial Mall with the western side of Main Campus.

Investing in research

A new multidisciplinary research center near Nitschke Hall is planned in a location with convenient access to parking for researchers from different disciplines to conduct work, collaborate and share technology resources. Palmer Hall is slated to be replaced with a green open space for the engineering campus area, with the classrooms in Palmer moved into a renovated North Engineering Building.

Consolidating athletics

The varsity athletic facilities on Scott Park Campus will move to Main Campus as part of the effort to consolidate athletics and better incorporate baseball, softball and soccer into the student experience. A new synthetic soccer field is planned for the inside of the running track. The baseball and softball fields would be relocated to where Carter East and West residence halls currently stand. The Carter residence halls will be taken down, and a portion of Carter Field will be maintained for intramural and recreational use.

The campus master plan also calls for offices currently located at Scott Park to move to Main Campus.

Enhancing student life

The master plan built into its projections a 1 percent enrollment increase each year, which combined with the two-year residency requirement, would require additional beds on campus by the end of the 10-year time period. Renovations are already underway for Parks Tower; the plan incorporates opportunities for McComas Village to expand for additional Greek housing; and a second phase of the Gateway on the corner of Secor Road and Dorr Street would add apartment living options on upper floors above retail stores.

A new outdoor recreational area on the south side of Dorr Street east of Byrne Road would create a dedicated recreation complex on campus, which currently does not exist. A new public safety building to replace the Transportation Center, which currently houses the UT Police Department, would be located next to the fenced-in recreational facility. The parking area currently on Scott Park Campus for first-year students would be relocated to the north side of Dorr Street just west of Byrne Road.

The campus master plan is scheduled to be implemented in phases throughout the next decade, with some projects expected within the next five years and the remaining completed in a second phase in years six through 10. A University financial investment of $100 million is expected, through future state capital dollars and a potential bond issue, as well as additional external philanthropic support to implement the plan.

As decisions are made and plans solidified, the University will communicate more. To keep up to date on the process, visit utoledo.edu/facilities/master-plan.

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