Print Email Facebook Twitter Release Share Font Size: A A A A
Research core on Grimes Way
Master plan envisions 3X graduate population
Thursday, June 7, 2012
By Hope Belli Tinney, WSU News
PULLMAN, Wash. - The 2012 WSU Pullman Campus Master Plan update, approved by the WSU Board of Regents in May, puts forth a vision of growth that preserves WSU’s historic core as a teaching campus and creates a dynamic new research emphasis to support a graduate school population of 8,000 students by 2030.
Great ideas surface
CAHNRS Associate Dean Pete Jacoby said he was amazed at how many great ideas surfaced during the planning discussions and how many of them made it into the final plan. "Now we have a direction, and we know how we are going to grow, if we follow this plan,” he said.
"Graduate education will be WSU’s future,” he said, and this plan manages to build for that, while also improving the undergraduate experience by strengthening the historic teaching core with strategic relocations and expansions. In this plan, for instance, engineering would be moved into new buildings closer to core facilities for CAHNRS and Vet Med.
"There is considerable collaboration going on between these units already,” Jacoby said, and this plan recognizes that. "It really goes back to the heart of a land grant institution.”
University College Dean Mary Wack said she was pleased to see how the master plan built in additional green spaces in the central campus and made use of innovative sustainable design elements. "The arboretum and wildlife center plans are also exciting," she said.
A living document
Ryder said the plan is a living document. Some parts of the plan will likely be carried out, and others will fade away, but creating the plan required an in-depth understanding of the facilities, infrastructure and public spaces necessary to support WSU’s mission and strategic vision.
So, what does that plan entail? Every step depends on securing the funding — as well as further approvals from the WSU Board of Regents — but highlights include:
Maintaining the traditional core of WSU Pullman as a teaching campus and building a complementary research campus along Grimes Way
Doubling the laboratory space on campus to accommodate increases in research and graduate enrollment
Renovating or replacing outdated buildings within the historic core (including moving engineering up the hill closer to Vet Med and CAHNRS to encourage more interdisciplinary collaboration)
Creating more formal and informal green spaces throughout campus
Developing a system of walking paths, bike paths, shuttle buses and public transit options that will encourage less single occupancy vehicle traffic
Growth by the numbers
"It’s a big vision,” Ryder said. The plan was developed with the assumption that total enrollment at WSU Pullman would grow from 19,221 students in fall 2011 to 26,000 students in fall 2030. Much of that growth would be in graduate education, with enrollment growing from 2,873 graduate students in fall 2011 to a target of 4,450 graduate students by fall 2020 and nearly 4,000 more graduate students in the next decade.
Currently, WSU Pullman’s facilities, including classrooms, research labs, office space, student housing and other buildings totals about 10.6 million square feet. To accommodate the anticipated growth, Ryder said, university facilities will have to grow by nearly 9 million square feet, or nearly one third more of the existing square footage.
West to east
The oldest buildings are on the west side of campus, Ryder said, and new growth has primarily been to the east, with Stadium Way serving as a barrier to pedestrian traffic between the campus core and the main buildings of Veterinary Medicine and CAHNRS, as well as French Administration and Lighty Student Services, among others.
Ideally, Ryder said, students should be able to get from one class to the next in 10 minutes or less, but that isn’t always possible. The walking time from Dana Hall to Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) is about 15 minutes.
The new plan concentrates most of the undergraduate classrooms and laboratories in the historic core, all within a 10-minute walk, and then creates a research core along Grimes Way that is roughly the same size. Stadium Way between Grimes Way and the Beasley Coliseum would become a pedestrian walkway and green space, making it easier for undergraduates to access the laboratories and classrooms in the biosciences and life sciences buildings north of Wilson Road.
The 56-page Executive Summary for the master plan update devotes significant attention to traffic patterns and parking. Creating a pedestrian mall along Stadium Way adjacent to Martin Stadium and Mooberry Track would require building a new road to the east of the Alumni Center and continuing on east of the Student Recreation Center. The plan also envisions a robust system of shuttle buses from the west campus to the east campus, enhanced public transportation and improved infrastructure for bike traffic.
Highlights of the plan constitute a veritable A-U list of projects, from renovating and expanding Beasley Coliseum (A on the list) to creating a new Welcome Center (U on the list).
For more information, see the Captial Planning website for the WSU Pullman Campus Master Plan.
- - - - - - -
Bobbie Ryder, Capital Planning & Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-335-2192
Hope Belli Tinney, WSU News, 509-335-8741, email@example.com