A plan for the development of the campus for the next two decades was passed to the chancellor by the Campus Planning Committee at its monthly meeting Tuesday.
The committee, which first heard a presentation on the plan at last month’s meeting, decided to recommend that Chancellor Henry Yang adopt the campus plan formulated by Urban Design Associates with student input. The plan outlines the physical changes to be made to the campus in the next 10 to 20 years, including development of transportation systems, parking, pedestrian circulation, bike circulation and future building sites. The university hired Urban Design Associates at the beginning of this school year.
Dennis Whelan of the Office of Budget and Planning called the campus plan “a vision to which we can apply resources.” The plan does not go into the order in which projects will be undertaken, nor does it deal with specifics like funding.
At the meeting, Joel Michaelsen of the Academic Senate Council on Planning and Budget said the members of his committee were enthusiastic about the plan.
“I’d say the issue is not whether we approve it or not, but where we go from here,” he said. “People are looking at this plan and saying, ‘Finally we get a chance to see what it could be like here.'”
Michaelsen went on to call the plan “inspiring.”
A focus of the campus plan is what Whelan called a “strengthening” of the Pardall corridor, the main campus thoroughfare that runs from the end of Pardall Road to the library. Some temporary buildings between Noble and Webb halls would be removed and replaced with permanent buildings.
The plan also calls for the removal of “less permanent” one-story buildings like Counseling & Career Services and the Associated Students Bicycle Shop, which would be replaced with larger buildings. Many at the meeting expressed concerns about where funding would come from for the removal of such buildings. Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities Marc Fisher said, “replacing the one-stories is the biggest problem with the plan.”
However, Fisher added that replacing one-stories with larger buildings is “cheaper than buying land.”
The plan also includes the remodeling of Storke Plaza. Most of the concrete in the plaza would be removed and replaced with grass. Additional seating would be added, and the plaza would be accessible on the entire length of all sides but the north.
The connection between Isla Vista and campus would be improved under the plan. The areas at the end of I.V. streets nearest campus would be enhanced visually by trimming and potentially removing trees, and pedestrian traffic would be encouraged by improving walkways.
If the chancellor adopts the campus plan, it will be given to architects hired for individual projects, who would then take the plan into account during their work.
The actual schedule of the developments outlined in the campus plan would be specified by a campus Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), which considers funding and academic concerns. Whelan said LRDPs are formed roughly every 10 years, with the last one formed in 1991.
“We’re inching toward embarking on an LRDP,” Whelan said. “It takes a couple years.”
Whelan and Ray Gindroz, principal planner for Urban Design Associates, spent time in the UCen during Spring Quarter listening to student input on the plan.
“There’s never enough student involvement, but we got some quality input,” Whelan said. “Most people gave input about the logistics of negotiating this campus by foot or bike; a lot of people expressed interest in places to sit and study semi-privately outdoors.”
“There are five million square feet of space on this campus,” Whelan said. “This plan is about making a few gestures to allow you to navigate it in a simple, orderly fashion.”