Today, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees accepted and approved the proposed revisions to IUP’s Indiana Campus Long-Range Facilities Master Plan goals and themes. This plan links the University’s Strategic Plan to the long-range physical development of the IUP campus over the next 20 years.

The update was developed by the SmithGroup (formerly JJR), nationally known campus facility planners. The university engaged the firm in November 2009 to prepare a comprehensive, long-range (20-year) facilities master plan for the university. In December 2010, the Council of Trustees adopted the plan as the official facilities planning document for the university. This was the beginning of the planning implementation process.

The plan is dynamic and fluid, with three phased development programs: 0 to 5 years, 6 to 10 years, and 11 to 20 years, each with a time, cost opinion, and funding possibility and availability.

Updates to the plan were approved by the Council of Trustees in 2011, 2014, and 2017. The process for developing recommendations for each update included open sessions and extensive discussions with students, employees, university leadership groups, community members, and community leadership groups. The long-range facilities master plan and updates are posted on the IUP website.

The plan’s goals and themes approved today are:

  • IUP’s Academic Future—To enrich the academic environment through strategic programming moves and building renovations and to plan for a college of osteopathic medicine.
  • Reducing the Campus Footprint—To identify opportunities to increase efficiency and optimal utilization of existing space across campus.
  • Campus Community—To improve facilities for housing, dining, student organizations, recreation, and athletics.
  • Moving Around Campus—To provide safe pedestrian routes and a green space network across campus.
  • Student Success and Well-Being—To elevate the student experience by creating a one-stop precinct for a student welcome center and for admissions, student success, and life design facilities.
  • Campus and the Borough—To create welcoming campus edges and to explore partnerships and alumni and donor engagement opportunities.

In addition to the goals and themes approved by the Council of Trustees, the update includes key “campus visions” designed to meet the goals and themes, focusing on promoting shared use of resources and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration:

  • Create a prominent and interconnected physical space to house the health sciences academic cluster (College of Health Sciences) in proximity to the proposed college of osteopathic medicine north of Oakland Avenue in renovated Johnson, Uhler, and Stright halls;
  • Create a one-stop precinct for student success with a renovation of Crimson Café, Clark Hall, and Stapleton and Stabley libraries;
  • Create a new “campus front door” highlighting the extended Oak Grove and the proposed college of osteopathic medicine building and health cluster, including an improved connection to downtown;
  • Create a new active green space (West Lawn) at the site of Foster and Davis halls and more green space and recreational areas on campus.

The Long-Range Facilities Master Plan Update Executive Steering Committee cochairs are Vice President for Administration and Finance Debra Fitzsimons and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lara Luetkehans.

“The long-range facilities master plan and the updating process are critically important to making decisions about the physical development of the Indiana campus, so it is very important to update the plan as our needs change; engaging our constituencies is key to the update process,” Fitzsimons said.

“Our academic restructuring and program array work will continue to play a major role in informing next steps and recommendations for the master plan,” Luetkehans said.

“Since its very beginning, this engagement and consultation with our stakeholders has been central to the long-range facilities master plan process,” Luetkehans said. “We will continue to engage them in the planning process, including the appropriate consultation and approval by leadership groups. Any implementation of any of the recommendations will require future approval by the Council of Trustees and in some cases, the State System of Higher Education Board of Governors,” Fitzsimons said.

“The recommendations in this update also focus on ways to improve the pedestrian experience across campus for our students, employees, and visitors, and create a gateway from campus to downtown,” Fitzsimons said. “This was a frequent suggestion from members of all groups during the open sessions.”

Both Fitzsimons and Luetkehans stressed that all of the recommendations in the master plan update remain fluid, dependent on campus needs and funding.

As part of the “campus visions” to put the goals and themes into action, SmithGroup included an analysis of the current campus buildings and facilities.

As presented by the SmithGroup during the open sessions in the spring and fall semesters, the Indiana campus has a surplus of assignable square footage in academic spaces, academic support spaces, and other campus spaces; at present, this surplus space totals 508,000 square feet.

The plan update approved today addresses the surplus assignable square footage with analysis of campus buildings, looking at building age, building condition, anticipated system renovation cost, current building use compared to space demand, and adaptability potential for different uses.

This analysis and discussion will continue; while the long-range plan update identifies several buildings that could be considered for demolition (Ackerman Hall, Davis Hall, Elkin Hall, Whitmyre Hall), no decisions have been made, Fitzsimons stressed.

“Identifying possibilities—including associated costs and impact—and bringing this information forward is an important part of the planning process, and the SmithGroup has done an outstanding job gathering information and incorporating suggestions and comments from our university and community members,” Fitzsimons said.

Fitzsimons and Luetkehans stressed their appreciation for the strong attendance and productive discussions during the open sessions held as part of the 10-month update process.

A total of 1,158 people responded to the “Map My IUP” survey, including almost 500 members of the Indiana area community; more than 100 people participated in pop-up sessions; students actively engaged during an open session hosted by the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Assembly; and there was robust attendance and discussion at the eight open sessions for students, faculty, staff, and the Indiana area community. In addition, there were 24 interviews with more than 100 individuals.

An open session to review today’s approved update to the Indiana Campus Long-Range Facilities Master Plan will be held during the spring semester.