Purpose & Overview
What does a master plan of the campus do for the College? Let’s start with what it’s not. It is
not a blue print of the buildings we’re just about to build, nor a schedule of construction. Rather
it is a consideration of the needs of the next generation or two, identifying scale and scope of
the likely responses to those needs as they pertain to facilities, and anticipating the interaction
of the individual components to ensure that we preserve the character of the overall campus
environment as the college grows and evolves.
The Big Picture
This process began with Ursinus 150, the college’s strategic plan. The goal is to connect the physical campus—our “built environment”—to our historic mission, vision, liberal arts legacy and, ultimately, the longer-term programmatic needs of Ursinus. Facilities primarily exist to support these programs, so clearly articulating the vision of the college is the central premise of this plan.
In other words, over the next 15-20 years, how will facilities support and enhance our student’s academic, residential and athletic experiences?
The Campus Master Plan (CMP) effort has extended over a period exceeding two years, in a
variety of phases. Initial phases, starting in 2017, focused on gathering existing facilities data,
updating them, and identifying areas where these data were incomplete. With the help of Stone
House Group, this advanced to a more complete inventory with status information that allowed a
prioritization of some basic infrastructure repair and improvement, as well as some areas,
particularly related to energy use, in which improvements would yield rapid recovery of
investments. Those areas were acted upon.
With this basis of information, the College engaged three organizations to develop a full campus
master plan. After a detailed search, Hord Coplan Macht (HCM) was selected as the lead group,
with support relating to academic spaces coming from Dober Lidsky Mathey (DLM), and
Architectural Resource Cambridge (ARC) providing planning for athletic spaces. In close
consultation with an on-campus steering committee and informed by a series of open
workshops over the 2018-19 academic year, these groups have worked to produce a draft plan, which is being presented to the campus community beginning November 2019.
Early conversations about process and potential outcomes led to the creation of six key questions that served as a roadmap for campus engagement and future planning:
- What are the ultimate goals and objectives of the CMP and how does the plan align with the college’s mission and strategic plan?
- How does campus leadership intend to use this plan? Is it flexible enough to function as a framework for multiple decades and account for changes in the size and goals of the institution?
- How does the plan take into account Collegeville Borough regulations imposed on campus by governmental units? Is the plan flexible enough to implement within these constraints?
- How does the plan align with the (upcoming) Strategic Enrollment Management Plan?
- How does the plan connect the college to evolving philanthropy opportunities?
- Which stakeholders and Ursinus audiences are most affected by the priorities identified by the plan? Which are least affected?