Master Plan: A continuing plan for student success
"The master plan is written to anticipate what the campus would look like 20 years down the road. That doesn't mean you wait 20 years down the road before you update the master plan."
Campus Planner John Desch isn't waiting to prepare UW-Parkside for future success. Desch said best practices suggest updating a 20-year master plan every 8-10 years. With work on the current plan started upon his arrival in 2004, he feels the university's roadmap to the future is right on schedule for updating.
Desch sees the potential 2014 UW-Parkside master plan as, "doing more than what is typically done" during an update. A space needs assessment will precede the writing of the master plan which will cover building, traffic, parking, and preservation of open spaces. The plan would also feature the two-part Student Success Project.
Student Success Project
Desch said preliminary plans call for a partial remodeling of D1 corridor of Wyllie Hall--the registrar's office, the advising center, cashier office, OMSA--to better serve students.
"The perception is that our student services are not very student friendly," Desch said. "It's difficult for students to navigate where they need to go to get their paperwork in order. That's clearly not conducive to their success."
The second part is to develop a space in the library typically called a "learning commons."
"It would be an environment that has a lot of variety in terms of seating and study spaces. There would be comfortable seating, tables for groups to get together as well as various sorts of computers stations for either individual or group activities. There would be a variety of flexible space where walls could be moved...space could be made larger or smaller depending on a particular need," Desch said of the restructured library space.
Members of the Master Plan Steering Committee have visited schools with this type of space--UW Milwaukee, Carthage College, Loyola University in Chicago--to study learning commons and create a similar space here at UW-Parkside that is, in Desch's words, an environment where [students] want to learn.The university has excellent help is creating the update, Desch noted. SmithGroupJJR is working on the master planning, Workshop Architects is studying the feasibility of the Student Success Project, Paulien & Associates is assisting in space planning, and the utility planning would be handled by Ring & DuChateau. Desch estimates once the consultant group is finalized, the university's updated master plan should be ready in approximately 18 months.