BY SHANNON WILEY
This week at the university consortium, Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach unveiled the campus’ new facilities master plan.
“(The plan) outlines enhancements to the university’s already vibrant learning environment, our arboretum and cultural offerings,” Dudley-Eshbach said. “(It) identifies improvements that will add utilitarian and beautiful spaces to learn, research, live, create and perform. Each project moves us closer to the vision of a campus that ranks as one of the nation’s best mid-sized universities, both public and private.”
SU’s master plan focuses on maintaining a compact academic core, strengthening connections between east and main campus and enabling future projects in academic and student life, recreation and the arts.
The building plans are meant to happen over the next decade including a new field house on East Campus and a Fine and Performing Arts Complex on main campus.
New residence halls including new halls on East Campus and on the site where Dogwood Village currently sits.
Likewise, the university is planning a landscaped and well-lighted walking and biking paths alongside the East Campus rail line.
In order to unite the two campuses, making up 183-acres in total, a clearly defined University District crossing Route 13 is in the works for travelers using the heavily trafficked north-south corridor.
The decade-long plan is broken up into two five-year steps, dubbed as Phase One and Phase Two.
Phase One has already begun with the construction of the Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons, which cost $117 million and a new $19 million stadium on East Campus, both of which are scheduled to be completed in 2016.
The rest of Phase One focuses on East Campus development, as well as general facility renovations. Included in this are the first residence halls on East Campus, the field house, improvements to the East Campus Complex which currently holds Delmarva Public Radio, University Police and other offices and the reconfiguration and landscaping of athletic fields which will include a new outdoor tennis center building.
Phase One also includes the renovation of the Blackwell Library, a makeover of the Guerrieri University Center and the modernization of Maggs Physical Activities Center.
As Phase Two commences in 2018, the focus will be on main campus, specifically impacting the fine and performing arts.
To begin, St. Martin’s and Chesapeake residence halls will be levelled, where there will rise an addition to Fulton Hall as well as a new performing arts center, both of these organized around an arts quad. More renovations include the new residence hall on the Dogwood Village site, a new academic building on the Blackwell Library location, expansion of The Commons and expansion of the Guerrieri University Center and Henson Hall.
SU’s facilities master plan took a year to plan, which included multiple sessions gathering input from campus and community groups including the City of Salisbury, Wicomico County, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and the Camden Neighborhood Association.
According to the university, sustainability is a main concern, with all planned building and major renovations will seek U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification with a silver level minimum. Further, the campus arboretum will be strengthened and broadened to incorporate East Campus.
Approved by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, the planning process was headed by Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore, a group nationally recognized one of the country’s leaders in design and planning.
Despite the undergoing of Phase One of the master plan, the employment and execution is dependent on the accessibility of both public and private financial support as the plan does not necessarily mean that there has been approval for capital projects or funding; the anticipated projects will be reviewed through typical procedures.
While priorities may tweak the university says, the plans are important directors.
A complete copy of the 129-page Facilities Master Plan is available at www.salisbury.edu/president/fmp/ or more information can be found by calling 410-543-6030.