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New Campus Master Plan Needs Your Input

Street sign with the Talley Student Union in the background.

What will NC State’s campus look like in the near and distant future?

That question is at the heart of the development of a new NC State Physical Master Plan, something that has not been done in full for more than two decades, though the most recent 2000 plan was updated in 2007 and ‘14.

Over the next 18 months, however, the university is asking for input from students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners about how best to manage growth at the system’s largest university.

While the plan will look at all physical campus needs, it aims to provide a framework for how future development will complement the existing 447 buildings on campus. It will identify future building locations on the five primary campus precincts (West, Central, North, South, and Centennial) and will determine which buildings are no longer of use in the future. And, for the first time, the master plan will include a look at the 224 smaller agriculture-related buildings and structures at the Lake Wheeler and Reedy Creek field laboratories.

The goal is to lay out a new a single, unifying master plan to align the future development of NC State’s 4,828 acres for campus buildings, grounds and infrastructure with the university’s soon-to-be-completed strategic plan.

Let’s Talk About It

From Sept. 13-17, the Physical Master Plan Kickoff will include a series of public forums, a campuswide survey and a series of popup engagements sessions at campus gathering places such as the Brickyard, the Free Expression Tunnel, Talley Student Union, Atrium, Fountain Dining Hall and the Oval, where passersby and other interested parties can give input to the process. All faculty, staff and students will also receive a survey with 10-12 specific questions about what makes NC State special, what works well and what needs improvement.

“These kickoff events are really trying to get as much input and as much raw data from campus and beyond about what to include in the new master plan,” says Doug Morton, NC State’s associate vice chancellor for facilities. “We want to cast as wide a net as possible so that we get a diverse view of what our future campus will be.

“It is an important phase of the process.”

NC State has also established six task forces, made up of individuals representing all campus communities, to fully explore various campus themes that align with the university’s strategic plan and to advise the steering committee. They include: Enhance the Culture of NC State, Elevate the Student Experience, Align Facilities with University Mission, Enhance Stewardship of Campus Resources, Identify Infrastructure Needs and Improve Campus Connections.

“Each of the task forces is thematically connected to the strategic plan, and each is equally important to the process,” says University Landscape Architect Thomas Skolnicki.

NC State is also working with external consultant SmithGroup to help evaluate the collected data and guide the school’s decision-making process in the new master plan, which should be completed by the end of 2022.

“The work we are doing is more than just asking do we have enough buildings,” Morton says. “It’s about determining whether or not they are providing everything necessary to best serve the student experience.”

The Physical Master Plan website will update the campus community on the work of the steering committee, the task forces and other information gathered from engagement forums and pop-up stations on campus.

“For this plan to speak to what makes NC State unique and distinctive, we need input from a broad cross-section of our diverse campus community,” says University Architect Lisa Johnson. “Everyone on campus uses campus a little differently, has different needs so the broadest input is critical to its success.”

In-Person Forums
Sept. 144:30–6 p.m.Talley Student UnionMountains Ballroom
Sept. 1611 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Hunt LibraryDuke Energy Hall
Virtual Open Forum
Sept. 283:30–5 p.m.Online

This post was originally published in NC State News.