For Immediate Release
January 27, 2012
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Regents Green-Light University of Maryland Facilities Improvements Plan
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Finance Committee of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents has approved an update of the University of Maryland, College Park's 2011-2030 Facilities Master Plan (FMP). The plan establishes a framework guiding the orderly growth and physical development of the campus over the next decade.
The committee approved the update at its meeting January 26, and the full Board will review the plan in February.
Ambitious but mindful of current economic realities, the plan met with enthusiastic support from the Regents Finance Committee, UMD officials said.
"[The plan] focuses on excellence and quality all the way through and is contemporary and focused and realistic," said Regent Gary Attman. "And I believe it's achievable."
"Times have changed, values have changed and therefore, the master plan for the future of the university has to change as well, and that is what the Regents completely embraced," added UMD President Wallace D. Loh. "What we're doing now is saying the relationship with the community is important."
At the core of the plan is the development and continued build out of eight districts (or communities), scheduled to follow the pattern established in the 2001-2020 Facilities Master Plan: academic and residential buildings surrounding open spaces and linked to the campus core by pedestrian corridors.
In the plan, all capital improvement projects are organized within these eight "communities." The goal is to strengthen existing campus spatial relationships as new development is required. Among the key features of the plan are:
According to Vice President of Administrative Affairs Robert M. Specter, the plan fully communicates a vision for a modern, thriving research university.
"We now envision a campus that will inspire future generations to new heights of achievement, continue to attract the best students and faculty, and become an even more welcome destination for the citizens of the State," Specter said. "We want to build a green campus that is an oasis in an increasingly urban area, an 'academic park in the city,' green in the abundance of plants, trees, and open spaces that are a defining signature of the University of Maryland and green in its commitment to leadership in sustainability practices and environmental stewardship."
The Board of Regents requires that the facilities master plans be evaluated and updated on a periodic basis, at least every five years. Typically a major update is undertaken every 10 years.
The UMD FMP update is considered to be a major one, officials explain. In addition, to guiding the University's own development plans, the State requires an FMP as part of its capital budgeting and facilities approval processes.
The new master plan is, by definition, forward-thinking. It builds on the strengths of the previous plans, and focuses increased attention on the university's relationships with the College Park community, its officials and residents.
The new plan is consistent with the mission of the University, the University Strategic Plan, the University of Maryland's Climate Action Plan, and the Environmental Stewardship Guidelines. The update focuses on: Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, Landscape Designs and Land Use, and Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation Systems.
A 25-member, campus-wide FMP Steering Committee, sponsored by the UMD Vice President of Administrative Affairs and chaired by the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management, led the planning process by creating a series of "guiding principles" for development, examining existing campus landscapes and transportation systems, and then making recommendations for future development.
Under the guidance of the Steering Committee, a consultant team led by Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, Inc., provided expertise in landscape architecture, multi-modal transportation, cultural university landscapes, environmental ecosystems, and restorations and sustainability. The process was also informed by surveys, studies, and initial recommendations commissioned by the consultant, and solicited stakeholders.
Members of the campus and College Park communities provided critical feedback prior to endorsement by the University Senate, Student Government Association, College Park City Council and, ultimately, approval by the University's senior leadership team.
More details on the Facilities Master Plan, are available online.
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
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