OSU begins major update to campus master plan

Adam Huffer
Communication Services
Oklahoma State University
(405) 744-9080

This 1930 architectural rendition with existing buildings in black, ongoing expansions in orange and future, conceived structures in brown illustrates the far-reaching impact of the initial 25-year master plan established under President Bennett. Notably, it foretold the eventual demolition of Crutchfield Hall and the Industrial Arts Building and the construction of an Industrial Engineering Complex in their place, something that occurred 65 years later when the Advanced Technology Research Center was built. OSU is seeking input from its students, faculty, staff and Stillwater community members with the hopes of developing a new, 20-year master plan that will have equal relevance.

Oklahoma State University has begun the most comprehensive update of the Stillwater campus master plan in two decades, and the process moves into its most dynamic and publicly interactive phase this week.

The Benham Companies, selected as project consultant by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents in January, will lead a weeklong series of forums March 21-25 in Stillwater to gather student, faculty, staff and community input on the new master plan. The forums also will be used to identify representatives to serve on the stakeholder committee that will interact with the project consultant for the duration of the master planning process.

University administrators, faculty, students and staff and members of the Stillwater community are invited to join planners and engineers from the Oklahoma City firm in the five-day series of workshops to be held primarily in 209 Wes Watkins Center. Highlights include a two-hour forum at 7 p.m., Monday, March 21 in the Wes Watkins Center for students, and another two-hour, 7 p.m. session Tuesday, March 22 at the Municipal Building for Stillwater community members.

Faced with continuing growth and expansion, OSU is developing a new campus master plan for the first time in more than two decades. The university’s tradition of planning – and the first 25-year master plan for any institution in the Southwest – was established during the 1920s under President Henry G. Bennett. That plan and subsequent updates are the reasons the Stillwater campus is nationally recognized for its beauty, orderly growth and uniform architectural appearance, according to OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly.

“Like its predecessors, the new master plan will successfully marry OSU’s heritage, history, culture and long-standing values with its current mission, needs, status and strategic plan,” Schmidly said.

“In the strategic plan we developed last year, OSU has in place for the first time an ambitious, comprehensive vision for all aspects of its future,” he said. “It’s an especially appropriate time for us to complement our efforts to achieve greatness by conceiving an updated vision for the physical campus.”

The new plan will address facilities needs, utilities, traffic patterns, parking facilities, athletics, student housing and landscaping. It will also include a detailed and narrative discussion of future land use on campus and adjacent university properties as well as physical and geographical linkages between the campus and other parts of Stillwater.

“Benham is especially proud and excited to participate in what is the shaping of our common future whether one is a part of the university community or benefiting from its existence,” said Lance Benham, Benham president and CEO. “As the Oklahoma firm employing the highest number of OSU architecture and engineering graduates, we are fully vested in this process.”

The master plan will include the consultant’s review and recommendations on site proposals for a new multimodal transportation complex.

“The facility will serve as a much-needed parking garage and hub for our Big Orange Bus (BOB) fleet, which provides a vital link between our System campuses,” Schmidly said. “The growing number of riders and rising popularity of the shuttles will also have to be addressed in plans for the hub.”

The first two days of the workshops have been divided into specially designated, hour-long forums for the discussion of the master plan as it affects various segments of the campus community. Blocks of time are set aside for sectors ranging from the academic units and the departments of Residential Life to athletics, the faculty and Police, Parking and Transit. Although focused, all forums are open to the public, including the community meeting March 22 involving Mayor Bud Lacy, the city council and other Stillwater leaders.

For a detailed schedule of the forums and the master planning process, visit http://osu.okstate.edu/cmp/. Updates on the process will be posted to the special website throughout the year. The new campus master plan will be presented to the OSU/A&M Board of Regents at its December meeting.

For information about this page, send e-mail to Adam Huffer.

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