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University embarks on new master planning process

July 12, 2010 12:00AM

Pittsburg State University will begin planning for the next decade of renovations and new construction next week as consultants visit campus to begin the development of a new master plan.

Representatives with the Kansas City-based firm Gould Evans will be on campus July 13-14 to tour PSU and to get input from the university community about the future of PSU's physical campus and facilities. The firm will interview 12 different groups during a round of discussions those two days, asking for input about campus needs, sustainability goals, integrating curriculum into facilities planning, and how the next 10 years of master planning can improve learning as well as student recruitment and retention.

"It's pretty typical to look at a new master plan every 10 years," said Paul Stewart, PSU's director of facilities planning. "It's an opportunity to align curriculum with facilities and the need for space. It will be a broad vision."

An example of coordinating curriculum with facilities planning, Stewart said, would be the addition of a fine and performing arts center that would support PSU's music and theatre programs. The new master plan could address everything from the need for new buildings and green space to parking and more, although Stewart said the university has no preconceived notions about what the firm may find or recommend.

The cost of the new master plan is $130,000. After next week's meetings, the firm will return July 28 to meet with representatives from the City of Pittsburg about the future of construction at PSU.

The university's last master plan was drafted in 1999, and was done in-house. That plan resulted in the identification and completion of several major projects including the Student Recreation Center, the Student Health Center, the Hike and Bike Trail, and Lindburg Plaza.

 "The goal then and now is to continue to make the university more pedestrian friendly," Stewart said. "The plan is based on the input the firm receives. They appear to invite discussion and engage different groups across campus in the process, so we're looking forward to seeing what they'll recommend."

---Pitt State---

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