Campus Master Plan Review Will Map Vision for Future

November 08, 2011 - Campus Bulletin

The University of Guelph’s campus master plan is getting a makeover.

Since the master plan was last reviewed 10 years ago, the campus has seen extensive changes, says Don O’Leary, vice-president (finance and administration).

“We’ve experienced student growth, new buildings and facilities, and changes in academic programs, all of which affect how the University needs to function now and in the future,” he says.

The University’s original master plan was completed in 1964. Updates to accommodate growth and change have occurred about every five years. The last review was in 2002, during a building boom that saw the addition of the science complex and the Rozanski Hall classroom cluster.

More recent changes include additions to the Thornbrough Building, renovations of the newly named Alexander Hall, building and expansion of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, removal of the former textile building, and expansion of the University Centre bus loop.

“We need to revisit the current vision and take it to the next level to reflect the evolution of the U of G campus,” O’Leary says.

Guiding the master plan review will be a steering committee with representatives from academic, administrative and student groups. Its chair is Kevin Golding, chair of the physical resources and property committee of the Board of Governors.

The review will likely take about a year to complete with the help of Urban Strategies Inc., a Toronto-based planning and urban design firm.

The committee will identify key challenges, especially for physical facilities, and will examine the use and role of buildings, urban design and landscaping, land use, parking, safety and security, accessibility utilities and waste management and sustainability objectives.

It will also consider current academic programs, and current and future needs of students and faculty. O’Leary says the group will pay particular attention to heritage, beauty and environment and to preserving the basic character of campus. “Landscape and buildings influence how people feel about their university experience.”

Already under way are stakeholder consultations about physical resource uses and needs. The group will meet with U of G colleges, the Office of Research, campus residences, academic support services, student affairs, campus police, accessibility and landscape advisory committees, real estate, health and safety, and faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The entire University community will also be invited to take part in open houses and town hall meetings. The first meeting will take place in January 2012.

“The campus master plan will provide a framework for decisions regarding the long-range physical development of the campus,” O’Leary says.

“Ultimately, our goal is to provide a welcoming environment for teaching, learning, research, work and living, now and in the future.”

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1