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Final master plan approved

The Western Board of Governors unanimously voted to approve the finalized master plan presented during the April meeting Thursday.

The vote came after a presentation by Steve Clark, principal of Clark|Huesemann, regarding some of the general features of the 10-year master plan.

“The master plan operates as a roadmap for Western to make changes,” Clark said. “It is a living document, which allows changes to be made along the way.”

The plan was created after Clark|Huesemann conducted an evaluation of facilities at Western as compared to other universities.

Clark|Huesemann found that Western is lacking in multiple  areas. Generally, Western falls behind comparable universities in available locations for student activities, such as dining space, musical performance space and recreation space.

The plan suggests nine new constructions, seven major buidling renovations and eight existing buidling remodels, including:

-A new facility to house the Craig School of Business

-Two new sister dorms on the land that is currently the E and F lot parking

-An additional dining space attached to Blum Student Union

-A new performance center by Potter Hall

-Increased recreation space attached to Looney Hall and Baker Fitness Center

-The rebuilding of Spratt Stadium

But, Clark points out that there is more in the master plan than new and renovated buildings.

“In the document, there are many, many items that relate to policy and procedure,” Clark said. “These items are changes that would not require additional money.”

Although the plan has been approved, Western’s President Robert Vartabedian points out that this is just the first step in the plan becoming a reality.

“The plan has a pretty good list of things that are urgent, things that are desirable and things that would be good for the future; but it’s all based on funds being available,” Vartabedian said. “The approach we are going to take is one of looking at the most urgent needs first– those being things like Spratt Stadium, Looney and Potter Hall.”

Clark explains that Spratt Stadium as the most urgent of the projects.

“In all my years of architectural and design work, I have only ever suggested that two buildings are unsalvageable and must be demolished– Spratt Stadium is one of those two,” Clark said.

Vartabedian suggests that, in order to begin the Spratt project, the vote regarding the $5.5 million bond– which will go to fund the Spratt rebuild– will be conducted via phone poll of the Board of Governor members within the coming weeks.

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