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Friday, March 2, 2012

UNCP displays new master plan

In the future, UNC Pembroke will be greener, more pedestrian friendly and more welcoming to students and visitors. These designs were announced in the new master plan unveiled in a campus-wide meeting on February 20.

Chancellor Kyle R. Carter addresses the audience at the meeting

Chancellor Kyle R. Carter addresses the audience at the meeting

Black Line

According to the plan, the next 15 years will bring about at UNCP a new library or “information commons,” a new school of business, an athletic complex on the north end of campus and much more.

The plans are not only theoretical. In fact, the university is currently in negotiations to purchase 38 acres for the new athletic complex.

Steve Martin, associate vice chancellor for Facilities Management, presented the plan, which was completed in the summer of 2011 by Boston architects Sasaki Associates. The plan is available online at www.uncp.edu/fm/masterplan/. About 50 faculty and staff attended the meeting.

Chancellor Kyle R. Carter, who initiated the project, said it is “what a master plan is all about.” He said the master planning process is important because it allows all stakeholders to see what the final product should look like.

“This is a product that helps us today, so that the dollars we spend add to a long range plan,” Chancellor Carter said. “There are parts of the master plan, such as landscaping, that can be done now.

“The information gathered in this process will be valuable to our future,” he said. “From this point forward, this will guide our future.”

Faculty Row (before)

Faculty Row (before)

Faculty Row (after)

Faculty Row (after)

Lumbee Gate (before)

Lumbee Gate (before)

Lumbee Gate (after)

Lumbee Gate (after)

Black Line

In a series of PowerPoint slides, Martin laid out a future campus of tree-lined walkways and borders. Besides several new buildings and aesthetic consid- erations, the master plan is also an analysis of campus infra- structure, from storm water runoff to electrical set up and other below-ground systems.

The UNCP campus of the future would preserve important historic areas while making changes to support a growing university. For example, following its replacement by the proposed information commons, the Mary Livermore Library will undergo renovations to repurpose the building to provide student support services, Martin said.

The information commons project plays a big role—literally—in the master plan. The commons will be the largest building on campus and will be constructed on the current site of the Wellons and Jacobs residence halls. The proposed “Wellons Grove” just north of the commons, will be a landscaped and inviting outdoor space for students and faculty, Martin said.

Among other projects, landscaped pedestrian connectors and gateways, including a main entrance, dubbed “Lumbee Gate,” would improve campus life and increase campus safety, Martin said. Faculty Row and Braves Drive would be converted into a central pedestrian “spine,” and a second academic quad will be created on the former soccer, baseball and softball fields.

Parking is integral to the plan, and baseball and practice soccer fields will make way for blacktop. The new athletic complex would be home to tennis courts, baseball, softball, practice and intramural fields, as well as facilities for athletes and fans.

Like the quads and pedestrian walkways, campus borders would also be tree-lined and landscaped. The five-lane Odum/Prospect roads of the future would be enhanced with a raised intersection designed to calm traffic flow. “We are starting conversations with the Department of Transportation on this,” Martin said.

When complete, the new campus would be comprised of “districts,” including academic cores, residential areas, and student-life and service districts. A fifth core would be the main “Lumbee Gate” entrance complete with a visitor center and an expanded lobby in the Givens Performing Arts Center.

In addition to the proposed new construction, the master plan calls for significant building renovations, including expansions of two residence halls, repurposing the Livermore Library, and changes to the D.F. Lowry Building, as well as the Business Administration and Education buildings.

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