(WVU officials seek input on the plan, unveiled Nov. 10 at the Board of Governors meeting. It can be viewed at:http://www.wvu.edu/%7Efacserv/MasterPlan.cfmE-mail comments to: email@example.com )
A 10-year, $188.1 million facilities master plan for West Virginia Universitys main campus that aligns with the Universitys 2010 plan for building academic excellence was unveiled Friday (Nov. 10) to WVU s Board of Governors.
WVU s last plan, in 1996, focused on new construction including the Student Recreation Center, Life Sciences Building, Downtown Campus Library, One Waterfront Place and Lincoln Hall, in addition to current renovations to academic buildings such as Brooks, Colson and Oglebay halls.
The 1996 plan also includes a Downtown Campus residence hall, slated for completion by August 2008, and renovations to existing housing facilities. Over the past 10 years, some $700 million has been invested in physical plant improvements, officials noted.
The 2006 10-year plan builds on this momentum and addresses enrollment and research growth at the University over the past 10 years and into the future, officials say.
To attract and graduate high-quality students, the University must have quality affordable housing and recreational facilities as well as group study areas,said Narvel Weese, vice president for administration and finance.To recruit and retain high-quality faculty, the University must be able to support state-of-the-art technology, high-tech classrooms and teaching laboratories and research space. In order to accomplish these objectives, WVU s 2006 10-year master plan must be a dynamic working tool that is used to allocate capital investment dollars wisely.
Weese said the 2006 plan has been nine months in the making, and focuses on the implementation offinancially realisticprojects within the first five years, with conceptual planning (finances to be determined) for projects further out. All fall into one of these categories: academics, student services, recreation, parking and transportation, and infrastructure.
High-Profile Projects on the Evansdale Campus
One of the more high-profile projects over the next few yearsbecause it will create a new gateway to the Evansdale Campuswill likely be the expansion of building sites, recreation fields and parking on the former St. Francis property,Weese said.
The new space will provide a potential for four new buildings to house the Carruth Counseling Center, Student Health Service, Physical Education, the WVU Nursery School and Extended Learning, he said.
Multipurpose recreational fields and approximately 500 building-related parking spaces will also be located there, along with a pedestrian spine to link Lincoln Hall and the Evansdale Residential Complex to the nearby Recreation Center.
This areas location to the PRT will provide better access to these facilities for students, he added.
Another project likely to create excitement is a new art gallery in the existing Erickson Alumni Center. With the construction of a new alumni center, the current facilityand a planned addition next doorwill house exhibits and store rare books and art.
A new Transportation Center and Garagepart of an intermodal facility planned for the north end of town and partially funded in the first phase by the U.S. Department of Transportationwill include an enclosed accessible connection between the Health Sciences Center PRT station and county and WVU buses, Weese said.
The area will include a bus stop, ticket vending station and bike parking area. Later phases may include a multi level parking garage with as many as 1,800 spaces.
An addition to the WVU College of Law is also planned.
High-Profile Projects on the Downtown Campus
Downtown Campus projects include the renovation of White Hall, in particular the addition of new classrooms and research laboratories and upgrades to mechanical and safety systems, and the renovation of Dadisman Residence Hall.
Stansbury Hall will also receive either a major renovation or a demolition/reconstruction to house a new one-stop shop for student support services and recreation.
With a growing enrollment, the College of Business and Economics will be enlarged to meet the academic and administrative needs of the College.
The third phase of the chiller loop project will also be completed under the plan, Weese said, along with general classroom modernization and dining hall renovations.
In addition, operating funds will be reinvested in repairs and maintenance to WVU s older facilities and infrastructure, including replacing heating and air conditioning systems, roofing work, updating sprinkler and fire protection systems, and more.
Principles Guiding the Plan
Weese said the facilities plan has five guiding principles: attract and graduate high-quality students; recruit and retain high-quality faculty committed to the land-grant mission; enhance the educational environment for student learning; promote discovery and exchange of knowledge and ideas; improve the states health, economy and quality of life.
It was developed in-house and will be shared with Student Government, administrators, Deans Council, Staff Council, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, City leaders and plannersand now awaits BOG and public input.
A bond issue is anticipated to support the capital plan, he noted, and other funding sources will include reserve accounts, grants and contracts, dedicated fees and private support.
Weese noted that Potomac State and WVU Tech master plans were updated in 2002; future master planning documents will include these division campuses. Health Sciences, Jacksons Mill and WVU Parkersburg will also be included in the updated plan in 2009.
Provost Gerald Lang updated the Board on the Universitys 2010 strategic goals, noting that headcount reached an all-time combined high of 28,600 students on the Morgantown and Keyser (Potomac State division) campuses, helping to solidify WVU s financial picture. Increases in Honors College enrollmenta plus in attracting high quality studentswas another positive achievement, he said.
As enrollment has increased, faculty positions have also been added, Lang noted, as well as nine new endowed faculty positionsone that supports a new Chinese studies program.
Bruce McClymonds, president of WVU Hospitals, explained the relationship between WVU Hospitals and United Health Systems, Inc., the 4-hospital system to which it belongs.
WVU s president chairs both boards, BOG Chairman Stephen Goodwin pointed out, noting that the search committee for a new WVU president, which he chairs,is keenly aware of the responsibility and significanceof this position as it relates to the selection of a new leader.
In highlighting 2006 financial statements, Associate Vice President for Finance Dan Durbin noted that independent auditors, Deloitte and Touche, reported that WVU received an unqualified opinion on the fairness of WVU s financial statements and that no management letter will be issued for the third straight year.
A presentation on convergence journalism was provided by School of Journalism students and professors.Starting Over: Loss and Renewal in Katrinas Aftermathis an interactive, award-winning website that combines student writing, editing, video, photography and new media. The project provided the basis for a new curriculum at the School.