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Update to ‘University Master Plan’ in the works

» By MORGAN SMITH – msmith156@my.apsu.edu

A new “University Master Plan” for the renovation and reconditioning of APSU’s campus is in the planning phase.

According to the current Master Plan, APSU has many long-standing structures in need of revamping and an overall organizational flow that doesn’t work with it’s growing enrollment numbers.

The idea behind the Master Plan is to make APSU a public institution with many “private” features. Ideas include a more powerful gateway entrance, so as not to confuse visitors and a pedestrian connection to downtown Clarksville and Riverfront.

The plan also aims to create a village-like atmosphere more inviting to conversation and group activities.

One of the ideas included in the plan is an additional plaza for student gathering. Currently, APSU has one plaza in the center of campus, across from the MUC, designated for student assembly. It is often overcrowded and seating is hard to find.

“One student gathering space currently being considered is between the Hemlock Semiconductor Building and the new Math and Computer Science building,” said Mitch Robinson, vice president of Finance and Administration. “Other ideas will certainly be explored once the designer begins the planning process.”

“The first academic priority will remain as it has for that last 10 or so years, renovation and addition to our Trahern building,” Robinson said.

Parking seems to be a main concern for many students, especially commuters. As enrollment continues to grow, the university will require increased parking in the future. According to Robinson, there is ample parking for the number of students enrolled, but the new Master Plan will include a parking analysis.

Although the plan is in its beginning stages, a general layout and schedule is already in the works.

When students hear about major renovations, one of the first concerns is a rise in tuition. According to Alvin Westerman, director of Facilities Planning and Projects, the renovations considered in the Master Plan “would not have a direct impact on tuition costs.”

“If [there are] going to be renovations done on campus, I think the first step should be to get the opinion of the students who attend the university. We go here everyday and most of us have pretty strong opinions about what could be changed or upgraded,” said junior Cara Chamberlain.

Robinson said student opinions and suggestions will be considered.

“There will be student representation on the Master Plan Committee, as well as opportunities for student input during the planning process. Most of those details will be worked out with the designer and university,” Robinson said.

Westerman added, “Once the Master Plan has been reviewed and endorsed by the president, it will certainly be released by publishing it on the university website.”

Westerman also notes the current plan is already out for review and those in charge “eagerly await” the input of students. Anyone interested in viewing the preliminary ideas for the Master Plan can go to www.apsu.edu/files/space-allocation/MasterPlan_2007.pdf TAS

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