Faculty, staff and students are helping decide what Brigham Young University's campus will look like in 10 years.
A new 10-year master plan for campus facilities is being developed, and administrators are seeking input from members of the campus community. Proposals include replacing several buildings, implementing a zoning concept that separates academic and non-academic functions and increasing green space and pedestrian access."The proposal will get a little more concrete as we get input from various sources," said Ned C. Hill, assistant to the president for planning and budget.
This week, officials plan to unveil a site on Route Y, BYU's intranet, that will outline suggestions for the master plan and allow feedback to be submitted to planners. Hill will hold meetings in each college of the university during the next several months to outline the proposals and receive comments.
Tentative proposals call for replacement of the Smith Family Living Center, the Fletcher Building and the Knight Mangum Building. Possibilities also include the construction of a new family studies and humanities building, an administrative services building, an alumni house and an indoor athletic facility.
In addition, the proposal explores the possibility of closing parts of Campus Drive to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. Also, academic departments are slated to be clustered at the heart of campus while administrative and support divisions are to move to the outskirts.
Other possibilities include a new dormitory at Helaman Halls, renovation or reconstruction of dormitories at Heritage Halls and a new Olympic-size swimming pool at the Richards physical education building.
Although the 10-year master plan will include all the proposed changes, each project must be approved individually by BYU's board of trustees, Hill said. He said the university's first master plan in several decades will bring order to the process of construction and remodeling.
It could help BYU avoid having several large construction projects simultaneously, as is presently the case. The Eyring Science Center, the Wilkinson Center and the Harold B. Lee Library have all been undergoing extensive remodeling and additions for the past couple of years, creating havoc for students and visitors alike.
"(The master plan) will make construction a little more logical and not bunch it all up," Hill said.
BYU also is currently in the process of building a new health center near Wymount Terrace, and a proposal in the master plan calls for the current one at the south end of campus to be replaced with an administrative services building. The building could house University Police, computer support and telecommunications services.
To increase safety and open space on campus, the proposal calls for closing the southern portion of Campus Drive, near the Maeser Building. The road would remain open to maintenance vehicles but not to public traffic. Also, Campus Drive near the Wilkinson Center could be closed, tying the J. Reuben Clark Law Building more closely with the rest of campus and creating wide open spaces on three sides of the Wilkinson Center and Lee Library.
While projects already under way eventually will add a total of 611,000 square feet of building space, BYU in the future will operate under a policy that allows new buildings only if an equivalent amount of square footage is made available by removing older buildings.
That rule probably won't include a new alumni house and the indoor athletic facility, however, since those buildings would be paid for and operated with private funds and donations. The alumni house could be added onto the west side of the current alumni building, while the indoor athletic facility might be located southwest of the Richards Building.
Perhaps the most ambitious proposal involves removing the Smith Family Living Center and replacing it with a new family science and humanities building. If that happens, the new building would actually occupy a smaller footprint, opening a wider walkway between it and the Lee Library. Also, the early childhood education program - and its day-care center - would be moved to the Taylor Building.
Under the master plan, departments that currently are housed in several buildings would be consolidated into one. Where possible, departments from the same college would be located near one another.
Hill stressed that proposals in the master plan are still tentative. After receiving comment from students and faculty, officials will refine the plans. They must then gain approval from the Campus Planning Committee and the President's Council before going to the board of trustees.
"(The master plan) is just the framework from which we will work," Hill said. "You always get surprises. I think of a plan as more of a process than the only way."
Hill, whom President Merrill J. Bateman recruited from his position as a professor in the Marriott School of Management 18 months ago, also is developing a three-year technology master plan. That plan involves identifying ways the university can avoid adding brick and mortar by using technology instead of floor space, he said.