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Space Assessment

Meeting Notes


Current Master Plan - 2010

Previous Master Plan - 2002


Eastern Illinois University - Master Plan

July 6th and 7th, 2010 Progress Meetings

Meetings Summary

The EIU Master Planning Steering Committee met on July 6th to review progress to date, with the specific goal of reviewing Site options for the placement of the anticipated new Science Building and Student Services, CATS and IT future program. In previous meetings, the Committee resolved that the general strategy outlined in program Option 3A (see attachment) should form the basis of the master plan; this consensus was based on careful review and discussion of the master plan program that resulted from detailed interviews with all the departments identified by EIU for inclusion in the master plan, and subsequent review of a number of program distribution options identified by the design team. The Steering committee concurs on the following attributes of Option 3A.

Highlights of Program Option 3A:

1) Student Services ('one stop shopping'), CATS, and IT services departments would be colocated.

2) A New Science building comprised of the Biology and Chemistry departments (all instructional, research and office space), and College of Sciences Deans offices.

3) Life Sciences Annex and existing Student Services building would be demolished. Main quad green space is expanded.

4) The existing Physical Sciences Building would be upgraded and Physics, Geography, Geology and Psychology remain there.

5) The existing Life Sciences building would be upgraded and Political Science, Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics would relocate there.

Master Plan Site Selection

Student Services Center Site Identification

There was unanimous Steering Committee consensus on item 1 above and on Site B for location; consolidation of the Student Services departments, technical assistance programs and co-location of IT facilities and staff will provide a responsive, efficient and exciting student center in the Steam Plant renovations and additions in the heart of the campus.

New Science Building Site Identification

Sites A, B and K were each determined to have adequate open area, proximity to campus infrastructure and potential for integration into the campus context necessary for placement of a potential 175,000 square foot Science Building. In discussion of Site B, which would consolidate program of item 1 and 2 above, the Steering Committee identified a number of issues that outweighed positive site placement attributes of central campus synergy and proximity to the Physical Science building; by consensus, Site B was eliminated from consideration for the Science Building. Augmenting the attached Site evaluation summary, these issues included:

Building mass too large for this site

Building mass would visually divide North and South areas of campus

Difficult to phase construction over long term on site

Construction very disruptive to campus

Costly and difficult to engineer and construct due to existing underground utility placements

Green space expansion opportunity missed

Sites A and K were discussed and evaluated with the following observations from the Committee:

Site A:

Positive attributes

Proximity to the North end of campus could provide positive campus public visibility , "high profile" and communication of the importance of Science at EIU.

Placement could strengthen the North academic quad.

Relative proximity to Physical Sciences Building is good.

Science building could re-define a new green campus quadrangle, formed in conjunction with

Blair hall on the West.

Building mass could be developed with lower height on West, higher on East; supports campus context and does not adversely affect community neighbors a block to the East.

Chilled water extension could also serve Blair Hall

Negative attributes

There would be parking space displacement and relocation to another site (initial assessment is 50-65 spaces)

EIU has no control over privately held site to the North; development on this site could adversely affect building and site

Utility extensions (chilled water and modest steam tunnel extension) required

Domino effect: Cultural Center (approx. 1500 SF) would be difficult to retain and would need to be relocated. Historic and cultural sensitivities.

Existing Water Tower gains new prominence.

Site K

Positive attributes

Site easily accommodates building mass

Site allows for consideration of many building planning and concept options;flexibility

No parking displacement to offsite location (some relocation on-site likely)

Good utility proximity

Good proximity to Freshman dorms and student pathways to residential areas

New academic Science Center provides new life on this area of campus

Potential for enhanced landscape and new quad

Relatively proximate to relocated Math, CS, Poly-Sci and Economics departments

Best site from a phasing and construction-ease perspective

Remoteness from other laboratory sciences might be able to be overcome

No building demolition or relocations required.

Good public visibility from 9th Street.

Negative attributes

Significant Reduction and change of character of prominent campus Green space

Band Practice, other student outdoor activities may need to find a new location

Does not contribute to cohesion between all of the laboratory sciences; remote from Physical

Sciences Building

"Tucks back" the new Science Building; not as prominent as Site A

Staff and Public Comments

Meetings were held for the EIU Staff and Town communities on July 7th, to describe the program status and in-progress site selection process. The staff community mostly asked for clarifications on what was presented, and seemed to be fairly evenly split on the Science Building Site selection.

EIU Staff Response:

The existing Cultural Center carries significant historical import for EIU's African American community, especially alumni.

Concern was expressed about where parking would be relocated to if Site A is selected

Other Pros and cons of both Sites A and K were consistent with the Steering Committee's evaluation.

Town Community Response:

Regarding Site A, if vehicular access to 7th street (Site A) is closed off, access to and from the private property to the North could be adversely affected (possible route back to 9th Street might be indicated)

Parking displacement required by Site A was of concern

Some concern about losing open space on Site K

Concerns that views of and to the Tarble Arts center would be adversely affected by building on Site K

The Site B Student Services location was received well, but there were concerns that Visitor parking and parking for the elderly be considered in relation to Site B

With new Science building at the North (Site A), keeping the Water Tower in that location is a "lack of Vision". Suggestion to plan to move it in the future.

Site K offers a great opportunity for new energy at the South end of Campus

Concern was expressed that a site across 4th street (in the Athletic plan) was not strongly considered (Site E), and that the Campus Master Plan should be integral with the Athletic master Plan.

In conclusion, the Steering Committee identified 'drivers and draggers' for Sites A and K and concluded that both locales have strong potential for the successful placement and phased development of a New Science Building. At this juncture the Committee has not reached consensus on Site A or Site K. Further, members of the committee expressed an interest in hearing President Perry's perspective on the siting issues as they move toward consensus on a Science Building site decision for the Master Plan.

Brandon Lipman, AIA


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