Around the O Article: March 20, 2018
Around the O Article: July 31, 2018
Around the O Article: August 9, 2018
The Classroom and Faculty Office Building is envisioned as a new three- or four-story building, approximately 60,000 gross square feet near the academic core of campus. The project will provide necessary classroom seats (approximately 750) and faculty offices (approximately 40) to meet existing capacity challenges and also enable the university to increase student enrollment strategically in the coming years. The academic focus of the building is “Environment and Society” and the interdisciplinary space will house faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Design.
The new building is envisioned as an interdisciplinary, collaborative learning environment drawing on the university’s long-standing expertise in sustainability and sustainable solutions. The facility will house the College of Arts and Sciences Geography Department, Environmental Studies Program, and the Center for Environmental Futures, as well as the College of Design School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management (including the Sustainable Cities Initiative).
Download a pdf summary of the Classroom and Faculty Office Site Selection here.
Site Selection Criteria
The criteria being used to analyze each of the sites fall into eight major categories. These criteria are primarily drawn from principles in the Campus Plan (the document which guides development on campus).
- Specific Program Needs
- Site Considerations and Costs
- Open Space Framework (Principle 2)
- Density (Principle 3)
- Space Use and Organization (Principle 4)
- Replacement of Displaced Uses (Principle 5)
- Architectural Style and Historic Preservation (Principle 7)
- Design Area Special Conditions (Principle 12)
For more details on site selection criteria, please see the May 15, 2018 CPC presentation
The site selection process for the Classroom and Faculty Building began by casting a wide net and considering all reasonable sites available for development. Using information generated by the Campus Physical Framework Vision Project nine permissible building sites were identified which could accommodate a building the size of the Classroom and Faculty Office Building (approximately 60,000 square feet and three- or four-stories tall).
Working with the project consultants and the Campus Planning Committee (CPC), the initial round of analysis narrowed the original nine sites to five. The four sites which will no longer be considered had “fatal flaws” associated with them which rendered them inappropriate for meeting the needs of the Classroom and Faculty Office Building program.
The remaining five sites were analyzed in much greater detail and were the primary focus of an open house and a CPC meeting on August 7. The CPC reviewed the analysis presented by the project consultants and confirmed that two additional sites were appropriate to remove from further consideration. The primary sites which will be carefully considered in the coming months are the PLC Parking Lot, the Collier House site, and MacArthur Court.
Sites Under Consideration
STEP 1: In a preliminary analysis, all nine permissible building sites (per the Framework Vision Project) that could accommodate a building the size of the Classroom and Faculty Office Building were assessed. These nine sites are circled in the aerial map below. The four sites that were found to have "fatal flaws" associated with them in the first round of analysis are crossed out. At their meeting on June 1, 2018 the Campus Planning Committee confirmed that these four sites were appropriate to remove from further consideration.
STEP 2: The remaining five sites were analyzed in greater detail. At the Campus Planning Committee meeting on August 7, the committee reviewed the analysis presented by the consultants for the project (Bora Architects and PLACE Landscape Architecture) and confirmed that two additional sites were appropriate to remove from further consideration. These two sites that will not be analyzed going forward are the site north of Dads' Gates and the South University site. The primary sites which will be carefully considered in the coming months are the PLC Parking Lot, the Collier House site, and MacArthur Court. This information was also shared with the campus and wider community at an open house on August 7. Download the open house boards here.
Each one of the top three sites being considered presents opportunities and challenges which are beginning to come to light through the preliminary analysis:
The PLC Parking Lot: This is a heavily-used parking lot at the western edge of campus - a connection point between the university and the community. It is a prominent gateway site, within the academic core, adjacent to the Memorial Quad and is at the western terminus of Johnson Lane Axis (a key campus open-space whose eastern end terminates at the EMU). This campus edge could be enhanced and the campus gateway at Kincaid and Johnson Lane Axis could be made universally accessible if the Classroom and Faculty Office Building were located on this site. Any displaced parking would have to be replaced, although further analysis is needed to determine where and how it might be replaced.
The Collier House Site: This site is in the heart of campus with strong connections to the academic core. Developing the Classroom and Faculty Office Building on this site would enliven the campus core and provide an opportunity to enhance the campus' open-space framework by transforming the intersection of 13th and University into a true heart of campus open space. However, the Collier House and site is a City Historic Landmark and significant trees are present on the site. As a result of its historic significance, when this site was originally identified as one of the nine potential sites for Classroom and Faculty Office Building, a study was completed to determine if the original massing of the Collier House could be safely relocated. This study concluded that it was possible to relocate the historically significant parts of the structure, place the building on a site within the campus boundary, and restore parts of the building which had been altered in the 1960s back to their original state.
As this is now one of the top three sites being considered for the Classroom and Faculty Office Building, a site selection study is needed to understand if there is a good relocation site for the Collier House. A diagram showing the site selection process to determine the best possible relocation site for the Collier House can be downloaded here.
More analysis is needed to assess how the proposed building and open space could fit together, taking into consideration building programmatic needs, open-space use patterns, and existing site features. Replacement of any displaced uses will be carefully considered in consultation with stakeholder groups.
MacArthur Court: Mac Court is on the edge of the academic core and is a building of primary historic significance. A number of studies have been done in the past to understand the potential implications of reuse or building new on the site. In addition, there have been studies which investigate what could be done to impove and extend the designated open space framework in the area. These studies will help to inform the future stages of analysis of this site. Replacement of any displaced uses will be carefully considered in consultation with stakeholder groups.
STEP 3: The three primary sites will be analyzed in much greater detail in the coming months.
MEETING: Open House
DATE: September 27
LOCATION: EMU Lobby
MEETING: Open House
DATE: September 27
LOCATION: Ford Alumni Center Lobby
MEETING: Campus Planning Committee (CPC)
DATE: October 2
How Can I Be Involved?
Feedback from the wider community is planned for August through October 2018, during which the university will hold public open houses and neighborhood meetings. For more information, please see the Upcoming Meetings section.
If you would like more information or have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Campus Planning directly (Eleni Tsivitzi, email@example.com, (541) 346-5024).
Project updates will be primarily shared through Around the O.
For more information, please contact: