MU to present 2010 campus plan

The plan includes renovations for Tate and Switzler halls.
Switzler Hall closed earlier this month for renovations. The building renovations are part of next year's Campus Master Plan, which includes five phase stages.

Campus planning committee members will gather to discuss the 2010 Campus Master Plan at a public forum Thursday.

The plan involves landscape and architecture changes of the campus and also focuses on further implementing sustainability.

"The 2010 master plan follows a different line from past annual plans in that there is less emphasis on individual projects and more on the character and function of the campus as a whole going into the future," Master Plan Adviser Perry Chapman said.

The plan will review the previous planning process and the existing campus environment. The committee aims to create a sustainable campus, strengthen the connections between the campus, nature and the city and maintain the renewal of campus buildings, Chapman said.

"Mizzou is a state university and land-grant university," Chapman said. "It has a certain public quality about it. (We want to) continue to make it a welcoming public and civic place and maintain a compact and walkable campus rather than having a campus falling all over the map. The idea is to function like a real community."

A highlight of the plan is the renovation of Tate and Switzler halls, which will be completed June 2011. Bond funding became available for the renovations in June 2009, Campus Facilities Communications Manager Karlan Seville said.

"We are currently focusing more on renovating existing buildings than building new structures, which is a sustainable practice and also mindful of a tight budget," Seville said.

The renovation of Tate and Switzler is part of a long-term program involved in preserving and renovating more than 30 historical and significant buildings, Chapman said.

"(A goal of the plan is) to maintain compact campus development patterns rather than sprawling outward, thus conserving land, avoiding costly infrastructure extensions and fostering a more walkable environment," Chapman said.

MU signed onto the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which involves reducing the university's carbon footprint, Chapman said.

"Sustainability is important because we are a land-grant institution, and we should be using resources responsibly and teaching students how to use resources responsibly," Student Sustainability Coordinator Pat Margherio said.

The Campus Master Plan is often referred to as a draft because it evolves over time and is always open for input from faculty, staff and students, said Chris Koukola, assistant to the chancellor for university affairs.

"Campus planning is a very public process at Mizzou," Koukola said. "Everyone on campus has an opportunity to express their opinions."

Campus planning involves not only the appearances of campus buildings but also how the buildings contribute to the university's academic mission.

"(MU campus) is not just a collection of buildings and green spaces," Koukola said. "It's an environment. We want the campus itself to contribute to the overall Mizzou experience for our students. The campus also plays a significant role in the recruitment of students and donations to the university from donors who want to invest in the university's future."

The Campus Master Plan is not a plan for immediate implementation, Chapman said. The plan will develop future principles and plans for the campus over the next 25 to 50 years.

The Campus Planning Committee will hold the open forum at 1:30 p.m. in the Reynolds Alumni Center and is open to the public.

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