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Projects fit with master planning

The upcoming construction projects on North Campus, including the possible addition of the Walgreen Drama Center and several College of Engineering construction and renovation initiatives, are consistent with prior master planning efforts, Sue Gott, the new university planner, told the Board of Regents Jan. 16.

 

"Our master planning efforts for North Campus originated with the Saarinen plan in the 1950s," Gott said. "As North Campus planning efforts continued through the decades, several themes consistently emerged, including preserving important open spaces around the perimeter, increasing the density of the campus core and maintaining flexibility for future programmatic requirements. The proposed major construction and renovation projects observe these themes."

Regents also learned that University administrators are studying the feasibility of locating the Walgreen Drama Center north of Pierpont Commons. The board originally approved the center project in May 2000 with a possible site in the Palmer
come on line."

Gott said additions to the Bentley Historical Library and to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building respond to the University's principle of capitalizing on infill opportunities wherever possible.

The proposed new buildings and stormwater retention pond have been located in appropriate designated development zones, while respecting existing pedestrian corridors and the natural environment, Gott told regents. "The stormwater retention pond is an especially important project toward continuing the University's environmental stewardship within the community and the watershed."

Board Chair Laurence Deitch asked if additional housing on North Campus is under consideration in the master plan. Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper said housing issues across campusincluding areas of need, as well as the condition of existing buildingsare being examined by her office.

Drive Development. As programming for the center and other Palmer Drive projects developed, University administrators determined a new location would be needed for Walgreen.

"The regents will be asked at a future meeting to appoint a new architect and site for the Walgreen Drama Center," Gott said.

The master planning updates to which Gott referred included a plan from JJR Inc. in 1984 and a subsequent refinement in 1995. She also described planning concepts put forward by Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates and environmental consultant Andropogon in 1998.

"Our guiding planning principles for North Campus have remained consistent over time and address development patterns, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, as well as parking, open spaces and utilities," Gott said. "We also are reviewing parking requirements for each project to ensure that an adequate supply of spaces will be in place as new buildings

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