Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Trustees approve 20-year plan

by SAM KUSIC skusic@indianagazette.net on December 17, 2010 5:48 PM

IUP's council of trustees on Thursday approved the university's long-range master plan, a 20-year vision for the campus that includes new buildings, property acquisitions and, in the end, a linkage of its northern and southern points.

If the vision outlined in the plan comes to pass, the university would look much different in 2030 than it does today. The IUP of tomorrow would include plenty of green space, especially around Marsh Run at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, at least two new classroom buildings, and a bus path that connects the north and south campus. That's important because the campus would be more or less closed to vehicular traffic.

"The plan doesn't mandate growth, but provides a guide for how to grow," said W. Thomas Borellis, Indiana University of Pennsylvania's student housing development director and long-range master plan project co-chairman.

The plan is to be executed in three phases, the first of which runs from now to five years out. The second phase would take place in the sixth to 10th years, and the third phase would be in the 11th to 20th years.

In the near term, plans include a new $37.1 million building for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and a new $73.4 million science building.

Funding for both projects is coming out of the state's capital projects budget.

The humanities building is to be located along Grant Street in the space between Clark and Sutton halls, and South Drive will be closed permanently as a result.

The building will replace Keith and Leonard halls, which will be torn down once it's completed. The science building will then be built on the spot occupied by Keith and Leonard halls.

Realizing the vision will take money, something that is in short supply at the university these days.

"While we face challenging budget times, plans still need to be made for this university's growth and future, so that IUP can be ready, when funds become available, to move forward to serve our academic mission," said interim President David Werner.

He said that no one piece of the project would begin until funding has been entirely secured.

The plan was developed by the planning, engineering and design firm JJR LLC, of Ann Arbor, Mich.

In developing the plan, JJR officials said they kept a focus on several basic points, such as developing one institutional identity, improving the campus image, connecting the north and south campuses and connecting them to downtown Indiana and enriching the physical environment for learning.

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