2010 MU Campus Master Plan emphasizes density

Friday, March 19, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 12:13 p.m. CDT, Friday, March 19, 2010

COLUMBIA — In his final presentation as MU's campus master planner Thursday afternoon, Perry Chapman emphasized the importance of density in campus development.

As part of MU's commitment to sustainability, Chapman said the 2010 Campus Master Plan "gives new life to important legacy structures" on campus by making use of existing space.

"A sustainable campus is really, in my view, maintaining compact development patterns," he said. Going forward, Chapman believes sustainability and maintaining the heritage of MU are important to its development.

Chapman provided recommendations on three sections of campus in a long-range plan that he hopes can be accomplished by 2035.

  • East Campus: Chapman anticipates a natural area from the northern edge of campus to Dairy Lawn near College Avenue Hall that would serve as an experimental forest and give the area a "pastoral landscape identity," he said.
  • Southeast Campus: Near the corner of Stadium Boulevard and College Avenue, Chapman suggests creating a park. That would give MU more of a public presence and would be a counterpoint to Peace Park on the northwestern corner of campus.
  • Central Campus: Chapman said MU should focus on renovating existing structures rather than building new ones. Current renovations to Tate and Switzler halls, for example, use historical parts of campus rather than expanding into new areas.

Linda Eastley from Sasaki Associates, an architecture and design firm in Boston, will replace Chapman, who is retiring this year after 12 years in his position.

Like Chapman, Eastley was a principal architect at Sasaki. The company in 2007 presented recommendations for the redevelopment of downtown Columbia as a consultant for MU, Stephens College and the city, according to a previous Missourian article. Its plans included a new MU performing arts center and a new Missouri State Historical Society museum. It also called for the elimination of blight and for more buildings of five to eight stories or more. And it called for converting Elm Street into more of a parkway and extending it to College Avenue.

Eastley said compact campuses contribute to sustainability.

"The most sustainable building you can have is not having to build the building," she said. She said renovating existing space uses MU's natural environment to the campus's advantage.

The 2010 Campus Master Plan provides a list of past campus projects, current renovations and future plans.

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Kevin O'Connor March 19, 2010 | 2:06 a.m.

I'm sure these people are very talented, but why do we have people in Boston as consultants to the future of the MU campus? There have to be equally qualified people who are more accessible to the area and understanding to our way of living that could provide these master plans.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 19, 2010 | 7:14 a.m.

Compact campuses definitely have advantages. University of Missouri System has two truly compact campuses; neither of them is located in Columbia.

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