During the visioning process in September 2011, we had the opportunity to conduct sessions with more than 300 faculty, staff, and students.
Again in November, we gathered with about when about the same number of community members to look at possible scenarios.
What We Heard
A few highlights from the sessions:
We heard from you that the connectedness of our campus is important. You agreed with the need to stretch the campus to the north and south, but you emphasized the importance of being intentional in maintaining the feeling of connection the campus currently has. Some ways we hope to address that are by connecting the new sciences building to Brushaber Commons; by building classroom space as part of the athletics facilities on the south end of campus; and by improving landscaping, lighting, and pathways throughout the campus.
It is important that the seminary remains a part of our on-campus community and there was an expressed desire that the seminary complex maintain its close proximity to college academic buildings. Whether it is best to refurbish or replace the current seminary complex, and whether seminary staff, faculty, and students remain in the same complex or move to new space, are items still being analyzed as the planning process moves through its final stages. (For planning purposes, the current model shows a new building for the seminary.)
Our conversations also suggested the idea of establishing a single university library to serve the needs of all schools as a possible scenario. That, too, will require further analysis and discussion. While you will see a library building on the new model, a final location has not been determined.
Also, our most pressing issue is a shortage of space, and part of the plan will include identifying ways to address that shortage quickly.
Response to Feedback
The plan underwent many changes as we heard students, staff, faculty, and trustees respond and helped formulate alternate plans. That interaction is resulting in a new, emerging recommendation. The Campus Master Planning Team, along with Performa and Bethel leadership, will oversee the finalization of the plan.