Students who are sick of complaining to each other about UCSB’s buildings and bikepaths can now complain to university-hired contractors.
Planning consultants hired by UCSB Campus Design and Planning, who will be in the UCen today and tomorrow, are asking students, faculty and staff for input on what physical changes they think should be made to the UCSB campus in the next 10 to 20 years.
Campus Design and Planning is having student-only hours between noon and 2 p.m. in the State Street Room of the UCen today and in the Harbor Room of the UCen on Wednesday. They want students to give input on what changes to the physical appearance of the campus are important to them.
“It’s really an opportunity for students to express their opinion about how they want the campus to evolve,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities Marc Fisher said. “This campus is really for them.”
The consultants will have the opportunity to meet with faculty and staff Tuesday morning prior to the student session and Tuesday afternoon after the session.
“The consultants want to talk to a large number of students, faculty and staff before they make recommendations so they can see what the campus community wants to see in the campus plan,” Director of Physical and Environmental Planning Tye Simpson said.
Santa Barbara County and Santa Barbara and Goleta city government officials have already met with the consultants, and have also been invited to the faculty and staff sessions.
The consultants want input on planning issues such as transportation, parking, pedestrian circulation, bike circulation and future building sites, Fisher said.
“I think it’s important for students to explain why things like bikepaths are so important,” he said.
The information the consultants receive from students, staff and faculty over the next week will be presented along with initial recommendations at an open meeting Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Hub.
The consultants will also speak at the A.S. Legislative Council meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Flying A Room of the UCen.
The campus plan will be the equivalent of a master plan for a city, and similar to the campus Long Range Development Plan already in existence. It will include changes in parking, construction and landscaping at UCSB over the next 10 to 20 years. The university hired Urban Design Associates at the beginning of this academic year to create a campus plan for UCSB that will include the first phase, which was completed by three other consulting firms last year.
Fisher said most campuses use outside consultants for this type of planning since it is rare to have an adequate urban design staff on site for a project of this scale. He said bringing people not affiliated with UCSB into the process would improve the plan as they will see potential changes nobody else would have considered.
“It always brings a fresh perspective to have outside people in the planning process,” Fisher said. “They don’t see certain projects as impossible or have hesitations about bigger projects.”
In the first phase of the project, three plans by three consulting firms were created for different sections of campus: the East Side Plan, West Side Plan and Storke Plan. They will be updated and included in the campus plan, Associate Campus Planner Dennis Whelan said.
The consultants, headed by Ray Gindroz, came to UCSB about six weeks ago to interview top administrators and faculty members about what they would like to see changed on campus and to get more information on the history of the campus and about previous design plans.
The consultants will take the suggestions they have received back with them to their home base in Pittsburgh, Penn., to create a rough draft of the campus plan, which will be presented on campus later this quarter for more input before being finalized, Fisher said. The final draft of the plan should be done by the end of the quarter.
“We want it to be done by June so that we can have the most input on the plan [before it’s finalized] since most people are not on campus over the summer,” Fisher said.