EIU Campus Master Plan
2010 Master Plan Update Report
The 2010 Eastern Illinois University Master Plan was commissioned by EIU to update the 1999 Master Plan and 2002 Master Plan update. The 2010 update incorporates planning and completed projects from the previous master plan(s) as well as a new framework for campus planning limits, improvements, and additions on the EIU campus over the next fifteen years. An athletic Master Plan has been simultaneously completed by the University and incorporated into this 2010 update. The 2010 Master Plan update was cooperatively developed by the EIU Master Plan Executive and Steering Committees, Loebl Schlossman & Hackl with PSA/Dewberry, KJWW engineers and Ratio landscape architects. The EIU committee comprised representatives from academic departments, administration, students, and the Charleston community; several on-campus review meetings were held during the programming and planning process with the Steering Committee and faculty representatives, as well as in the Charleston Public Library for public community review. The plan updates generally reflect input from the entire University community and consensus regarding strategies for campus enhancements, academic department development, and placement of new buildings on campus.
The master plan process began with a visioning session, convened with the architects and Steering Committee on March 9, 2010, to solicit, as well as confirm, EIU's values, larger campus prerogatives and general planning guidance for the master plan update process.
Our Vision (Who Are We?)
A Vision is a living idea. It states as clearly as is possible who the University today believes and commits to be. Visioning includes the creation of the Vision and the Mission statements for the University, Planning Objectives for the Campus Master Plan, and a list of Guiding Principles for shaping the Master Plan. In combination, these statements define who we are now, and what we want to be in the future.
Accessibility to an EIU education
The 1999 master plan and 2002 update included detailed recommendations for landscape character and fixtures, parking locations, vehicular and pedestrian way strategies, and new facility and infrastructure development; these remain largely in place in the 2010 update, and have been augmented with a sustainable campus landscape strategy. The campus utility and sustainable energy plan is also well under way, proving to be one of the more successful campus energy infrastructure projects in the Midwest. The 2010 Master Plan updates the previous plan by incorporating a sustainability imperative for future campus improvements. Inherent in this strategy is a general policy of maximizing EIU's existing resources, optimizing land use, increasing environmental stewardship, and designing 'green' for all campus improvements. Furthermore, EIU's sustainability initiative now includes the general intent for all new campus development to occupy land presently owned by the University.
Department questionnaires were sent to and completed by the twenty academic and twenty-one administrative departments involved in the 2010 Master Plan update. Separate interviews with representatives of each of these groups were conducted to identify planning objectives including curriculum growth and/or development, staff projections, enrollment, class size projections, and pedagogies; all in light of concomitant space requirements for master planning purposes. Over the course of these meetings the architects developed both department program space area requirements and alternative department 'migration' strategies for potential department relocations and/or renovations of affected campus buildings. (See Appendix C for Master Plan Program and Room Category List) There was final consensus that two new buildings should be planned for EIU; funding priority should continue to be given to a new Science Building (175,000 gross square foot area), which will include the Chemistry and Biology departments. A new student services building (60,000 GSF area) is also planned. As part of the Master Plan update the existing Student Services Building is planned for demolition, as is the Life Science Annex.
Department Migration and New Building Integration
Existing buildings and uses were analyzed in relation to the future potential of fitting departments identified in the program into existing and renovated space. Overall, two program groupings were confirmed to need additional, new space; Student Services and IT, and Chemistry and Biological Sciences. Potential migration strategy options were developed in conjunction with new space development on campus, and the architects and Steering Committee identified all of the sites that are available for new building on campus for potential placement of the new Science and Student Services buildings. Discussions of alternative sites for these two projects were conducted to codify contributing and detracting characteristics of each site, including academic and residential proximities, town relationships, campus pedestrian ways, visibility, related utility work, sustainability, and ease of construction. Site B, directly to the West of the Steam Plant Building and Site K, the 'Tundra' site at the South East of the main campus, were selected for the Student Services Building and the Science Building respectively.
KJWW Engineering Inc. and EIU's Facilities department identified campus utility improvements that will be required by the two new buildings, and anticipated strategic utility work to provide chilled water for air conditioning of both Blair Hall and Pemberton Hall. (See Exhibit 6 and Support Documents)
A high percentage of high school seniors place a priority on the appearance of the buildings and grounds in their selection of a university; physical campus environment is widely accepted as a valuable tool to promote learning. At EIU, there is a history of attention to richness and diversity of the buildings, grounds and landscape, and the 2010 Master Plan update builds on this tradition.
A number of traditional quadrangle based campus qualities contribute to the success of the EIU campus. These include well-ordered, sequential and human scaled spaces; mature trees and plant species variety; logical building placement; continuity of materials; strong spatial edges and clear quadrangle definition, a new way finding system, logical pedestrian circulation system, and restricted vehicular traffic within the campus core.
The EIU campus is a well formed and desirable model campus of medium density and well balanced supporting green space (see Exhibit 1, Campus Green Space); typical walking distances on campus are generally within 10 minute radii, and outdoor commons are accessible and generally well maintained. Opportunities for improvement to campus include clarification and management of some overgrown planting areas, and miscellaneous minor pavement repairs and drainage corrections. The 2009 landscape Master Plan identified a variety of site enhancements. The 2010 update is incorporated into the campus master plan by reference, and is also summarized within this document.
Parking on campus was largely addressed in previous Master Plans. In the 2010 update EIU intends to maintain the current number of parking spaces on campus (see Exhibit 2). Parking displaced by new building will be replaced in kind. Visitor parking will be enhanced adjacent to the new Student Services Center, as this building is planned to include visitors’ services.
The projects identified in landscape plans from 2009, and the 2010 site specific concepts included for the new Science Building and Student Services Center share a set of common goals:
Use of a natives-based plant palette will celebrate EIU’s location in East central Illinois.
Replacement of turf lawn in some areas with native grasses will, over time, reduce the University’s carbon footprint.
Bio-swales and permeable pavement will provide on-site water quality measures and put the University’s interest in conserving natural resources on display.
Gathering spaces throughout campus, like the new plaza between the Doudna Fine Arts Center and the Union have been designed to foster interaction, strengthen personal relationships and encourage use of exterior spaces.
The Garfield Street pedestrian mall will remove cars from this heavily used corridor and create a more attractive and student friendly space.
Lighting and sightlines have been taken into consideration in order to enhance the University’s crime prevention efforts through environmental design (CPTED) initiatives.
Overgrown plants around some buildings, like Pemberton Hall, are suggested for removal and replacement with lower stature materials.
Connection (i.e. to athletic campus and to SE Residential zone)
Primary crosswalk connections from the academic campus to the athletic campus are indicated on 4th Street in locations that correspond to the Master Plan for athletics. Also, a new primary pedestrian connection is indicated to extend the new Science Building site diagonal across 9th street.
A variety of improvements throughout campus have been identified to address visual and functional concerns.
Improvements include the re-orientation and screening of trash receptacles at Stevenson Hall, site improvements to the entry of Carman Hall and the relocation of bike racks at Taylor Hall.
New Building Initiatives
New Science Building The site for the proposed new 175,000 square foot Science Building is anticipated to support a landscaped pedestrian way diagonally connecting to the North-South way that terminates at the Doudna Center, with campus residential areas to the South East, and supporting the form of the Tarble Arts Center with its strong diagonal line of Bald Cypress trees. The new facilities will include Biology and Chemistry teaching and research laboratories, general classroom space, perimeter green houses and exterior plant biology facilities. The building, with long Southern exposure on a potentially five story laboratory and classroom wing, as well as partial shaded areas along the North East, offers the opportunity for integrated passive and active solar technologies, green roofs, state-of-the art classroom and laboratory instructional and research space, student amenities, an internal 'street' parallel with the exterior diagonal space, and optimal sustainable building design. The new Science Building can embody and trumpet the spirit and technologies of EIU's progressive and responsive Science curricula.
The Science building grounds present an opportunity to extend the educational program for the building into the landscape. The space between the Tarble Arts Center and the new Science Building is envisioned as a “living lab” featuring native plants in a sustainable landscape. Rain water from the roof of the building would be directed to areas landscaped with native -based plant ecologies demonstrating integration of sustainable landscape into urban context. The existing Bald Cypress tree row along the North edge of the site, one of the most appealing features on campus, will be protected and will serve as an organizational element. The existing parking South of the new building will be renovated to incorporate a number of sustainable strategies, including bio-swales and permeable pavement.
New Student Services Center
The proposed new 60,000 square foot Student Services Center will comprise the renovated and repurposed Steam Plant and a significant addition to the West, around an open exterior court. Removal of the obsolete existing Student Center combined with aligned (with Blair Hall) placement of a sensitively scaled three story addition will substantially expand the main campus quadrangle green space Southward and redefine the quad with a strong East building edge. As a center both for EIU students and visitors, the building should provide a number of entries and should be designed as both a through-space and active destination.
The new sustainable landscape is proposed as a native plant based palette. South of the new Student Services Center, the existing parking and vehicular (including service) circulation space will continue to serve the Union to the South, and can become a model for the use of permeable pavement and a more integrated pedestrian and parking environment. Extending the permeable unit pavers West and South towards the Union service area, and integrating planting islands will contribute to an appealing and greened space.
The courtyard formed by the new building and re-purposed Steam Plant will enjoy southern exposure and protection from westerly winter winds. This space is envisioned as an active space, to be planted in the natives based palette and could include an outdoor hard surface gathering space. The green space returned to the quad when the existing Student Services building is removed will be planted informally with turf lawn and native trees in a manner consistent with the current north quad character, and will help to screen the service areas of the Union.