The first comprehensive facilities master planning process for the campus, which opened in 1967, is scheduled to begin in May at the University of Wisconsin-Richland.
“We’re pleased that the Richland County Board, UW-Richland Foundation and UW Colleges are supporting this important undertaking. We need to plan well for the future of the campus, an important resource for people of southwest Wisconsin and beyond,” said UW-Richland CEO/Dean Dr. Patrick Glenn Hagen.
The Madison-based firm of Strang, Inc. was chosen to lead planning efforts. Their proposal outlines a four-step process—mine, define, align, design—beginning in May and culminating in November with a completed ten-year master facilities plan.
UW-Richland opened in the fall of 1967 and most campus facilities date from that time. With the main exception of Science Hall, which was renovated in 2001, most buildings have seen limited upgrades while technology and teaching methods have evolved. The master plan will involve faculty, staff, community people and students to discuss ways that campus facilities can best meet the needs of a diverse population in a changing world.
The four-step process will begin with “Mine,” a review of existing data, analysis of site and building conditions and discussions with key stakeholders. By the time fall classes begin, “Define,” the second step, will be the focus, analyzing the use of campus buildings and land. Moving on in October, the focus will turn to the “Align” portion of the project, looking at trends in education in relation to campus facilities. By November, the plan is expected to be complete.
“The Master Plan will be a valuable guide as we look to the future, helpful in prioritizing campus improvements,” Hagen said.
“We’ve found the personnel from Strang, Inc. to be collaborative and inspiring. I think they really understand who we are,” said Dundee McNair, UW-Richland assistant campus dean for administrative and financial services.
In addition to buildings, plans for landscaping, pedestrian circulation and other infrastructure needs will be considered.
In addition to Hagen and Mc Nair, campus leadership for the initiative is provided by members of the UW-Richland Master Planning Committee:
James Aagaard, UW-Richland assistant professor of music;
Khalid Abdl-Haleem, a UW-Richland student from Muscoda;
Bob Bellman, vice chair of the Richland County Board University Committee;
Glen Brown, executive director of Campus View housing for UW-Richland students;
Brandon Fetterly, UW-Richland associate professor of chemistry;
Gary Gobin, UW-Richland network administrator;
George Henze, UW-Richland student affairs coordinator;
Evertt Newberry, UW-Richland maintenance supervisor;
Darlo Wentz, executive director of the UW-Richland Foundation; and
Aharon Zorea, UW-Richland associate professor of history.
Members of the Richland County Board University Committee, leading county government planning, are, in addition to Bellman, Chair Paul Kinney, members Carol Clausius, David Turk, and Lewis Van Vliet. Kinney, the grandfather of three UW-Richland alumni, said, “I really enjoy serving on the University Committee and working with the great professionals on campus. We’re very fortunate to have a campus here that meets the needs of our young people.”
From Strang, Inc., leadership of the process will be provided by Larry Barton, principal in charge, and Peter Tan, design principal, working with a number of specialists from their firm.