A progress update for the community on Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Indiana Campus Long-Range Facilities Master Plan will be offered on April 2 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex PNC Room.

While this session has been scheduled for the convenience of community members, it is open to all, including IUP employees and students; reservations are not required. There are two additional public sessions on April 2, designed for IUP employees but open to all:  from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Blue Room of Sutton Hall.

A special session to provide the progress update to students is scheduled as part of the Student Government Association and Graduate Student Assembly meeting on April 2.

The Long-Range Facilities Master Plan Update Executive Steering Committee cochairs are Debra Fitzsimons, vice president, Division of Administration and Finance; and Lara Luetkehans, provost and vice president, Division of Academic Affairs.

“It’s very important to understand that the plan is dynamic and fluid, with three phased development programs: zero to five years, six to 10 years, and 11 to 20 years, each with a time, cost opinion, and funding possibility and availability,” Fitzsimons said.

“Any actions related to recommendations in the plan will be reviewed by the Council of Trustees, and information will be shared with the IUP and Indiana area communities before moving forward,” Fitzsimons said.

The Indiana Campus Long-Range Facilities Master 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, which continues to include updates to the plan to reflect changing needs of the university.

Updates to the original 2010 plan were approved by the Council of Trustees in 2011, 2014, 2017 and in January. The process for developing recommendations for each update included open sessions and extensive discussion with students, employees, university leadership groups, and community members and community leadership groups. The long-range facilities master plan and updates are posted on the IUP website.

“The update includes a careful examination of how IUP is using its current space in order to create recommendations for the future of the Indiana campus facility footprint,” Fitzsimons and Luetkehans said.

“The long-range facilities planning process is very deliberately designed with the understanding that universities evolve over time because the needs of our students change, and our plans for our facilities need to change to meet these needs,” Luetkehans said.

The revisions for the master plan approved by the Council of Trustees in January were developed over a 10-month period that included discussions with members of the IUP and Indiana area communities; an electronic “Map My IUP” survey, which drew responses from 1,158 people, including almost 500 members of the Indiana area community; more than 100 participants in pop-up sessions; an open session hosted by the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Assembly; and robust attendance and discussion at the eight open sessions for students, faculty, and staff and the Indiana area community. Members of the SmithGroup also held 24 interviews with more than 100 individuals.

The updates approved in January include the following goals and themes:

  • 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.

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 in the update.

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 in January also 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.

“The input we received during the spring open sessions with the community and with our students and employees provided very important insights, and we want to thank everyone who participated in these sessions,” Fitzsimons and Luetkehans said.

Information on IUP’s long-range facilities master plan is on the IUP website  (or type "master plan" in the search box at the top of any page on the IUP website).