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Long-Range Campus Plan Approved; New Classroom Buildings Planned

The Council of Trustees approved on December 16, 2010, the total concept of a twenty-year, long-range facilities master plan for the university that includes two new classroom buildings.

The IUP Long-Range Campus Facilities Master Plan was developed by JJR, LLC, of Ann Arbor, Mich.

The long-range plan contains recommendations for three different phases of work: current to five years from today, six to eleven years from today, and eleven to twenty years from today.

Major projects proposed for the first phase (through 2015) include a new facility for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, estimated at $37.1 million, and a new science facility, estimated at $73.4 million. Funding for both projects would come from the commonwealth’s capital projects budget.

Preliminary plans call for the new Humanities and Social Sciences building to be located along Grant Street in the green space between Clark and Sutton halls. Initial plans for this project include the permanent closing of South Drive.

The Department of General Services is in the process of selecting an architect for this project. A construction start date has not yet been set.

The new building would replace Keith and Leonard halls, which would be razed once the building is complete. The razing of Keith and Leonard would then create space for the new science building. A timetable for construction of the new science building has not yet been determined.

Other projects recommended in the current to five-year phase of the long-range plan include continuation of the Allegheny Arboretum, a study on nontraditional student housing, expansion of the Hoodlebug Trail adjacent to the Robertshaw building, and a food service master plan study. Traffic impact studies are also proposed for this first phase.

“The university’s core academic mission is the focus of this plan,” Dr. David Werner, interim president of IUP, said. “One of its strengths is the incorporation of a financial plan for implementation, which means that no project will be started until the funds are available.”

Several of the proposed projects would be funded by sources outside the university budget.

“While we face challenging budget times, plans still need to be made for this university’s growth and future, so that IUP can be ready, when funds become available, to move forward to serve our academic mission.”

In developing the plan, JJR officials stressed that there were several basic points considered throughout the process, including developing one institutional identity, improving the campus image, connecting the north and south campuses, fostering innovative and collaborative partnerships, linking the campus to the town, and enriching the physical environment for learning.

The long-range master plan was developed in consultation with the university’s 2007–2012 strategic plan, the 2010 academic strategic plan, the student housing master plan, the parking master plan, the athletic master plan, the 1996 long-range master plan, the space needs assessment, the sightline facilities condition assessment, and the signage master plan.

It is also the result of many meetings during the past year that involved university and community groups and representation from Indiana County, Indiana Borough, White Township, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

In presenting the plan, JJR officials noted that the plan is a long-range tool that should be reviewed and updated every five years and must remain flexible.

“The plan doesn’t mandate growth, but provides a guide for how to grow,” W. Thomas Borellis, director of Student Housing Development at IUP and long-range plan project co-chair, said.

“JJR has been diligent in efforts to incorporate other university planning documents, including the academic long-range plan, into this work, and we have consulted widely with university and community groups. The members of the Campus Advisory Committee and the Community Advisory Committee have put in many hours to help to develop a long-range plan that is visionary but also achievable.”

Additional informational meetings about the long-range facilities master plan will be held in January and February with campus and community groups.