WMU News

Master plan completed, summary available

June 11, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The WMU master planning process is complete and a summary of the results has been published.

"A View to the Future: Western Michigan University Master Plan Summary Report" has been produced by SmithGroup JJR of Ann Arbor, Mich., the University's planning consultant in the process. The report will be sent to campus offices that deal with physical plant and facilities planning. The summary report is a condensed version of a full technical report due to arrive on campus in August.

The 18-month undertaking that produced the plan involved representatives of the student body, faculty, staff and the public, as well as the Board of Trustees. They were organized into an advisory/policy committee and three focus groups. Work on the master plan is part of a University-wide planning process initiated in the fall of 1998 by President Elson S. Floyd.
According to Evie Asken, director of campus planning, the actual plan that has been developed forms a pattern around which future campus development can take place.

"The plan is really a set of fundamental concepts we will use when we consider and approve each new project in the future," she says.

As outlined in the summary report, the plan explores the significant development issues identified early in the planning process and lays out a set of recommendations for each of the three existing subcampus areas on the main Kalamazoo campus: West Campus, which is comprised of the academic buildings west of Stadium Drive and Goldsworth Valley; East Campus, which is comprised of the 60-acre site that includes most of WMU's historic buildings as well as the athletic fields and physical plant facilities; and the Oakland Drive Campus, which includes the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital grounds and the University Medical and Health Sciences Center.

Some language changes to subcampus designations resulted from the planning process, Asken says, as it became apparent there was a need to give better geographic references to identify sections of the campus. President Floyd approved the name changes to help clarify the boundaries of the subcampus areas.

During much of the planning process, for instance, the Oakland Drive Campus was referred to as South Campus, leading to some confusion as to where it was located and what it encompassed. The name was changed to the Oakland Drive Campus to clarify those questions.

At the same time, the new engineering complex at the intersection of Drake Road and Parkview Avenue, which includes the Business Technology and Research Park, was designated as the Parkview Campus. That new subcampus was not part of the master planning focus area. Both new campus names are now being used and the Oakland Drive Campus terminology was incorporated into both the summary report of the master plan and the technical report now being prepared.

While the published summary report is only available to a limited number of campus offices and individuals, Asken says, the report will soon be published on a new master plan Web site that will replace the current Web site devoted to the plan development process.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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