The Tempe Master Plan is providing the University with a new objective to improve academic resources for both students and faculty on the Tempe campus.
Five years after the Tempe Master Plan Update was released in 2011, the University is preparing to enhance their new master plan by looking at enrollment projection and replacing academic research buildings and residential areas for students. The plan contains objectives set by the University and developers which they hope to achieve in future years.
Edmundo Soltero, assistant vice president for the Office of the University Architect, said in 2011, the University set an enrollment target of 60,000 students for the Tempe campus by 2020. Currently, the campus has an enrollment of 51,469, according to the Master Plan Update.
“The master plan materializes once we get those projections as to where the school is turning in terms of growth,” he said.
Research and Architectural Developments
The plan hopes to expand on current developments in the University.
According to Soltero, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, for example, has a projection to grow by 5 percent, and that means that they need renovations in addition to their buildings.
“We have a lofty goal of increasing research expenditures to $750 million,” Soltero said.
For instance, Soltero said a building that is part of the master plan is Biodesign Building C, a roughly an 185,000 square feet new research building that expected to be finished by December 2017.
Specific developments like this are what the plan is about.
The plan indicates that the University will need an additional 1.67 million square feet to complete all their developments. To resolve the need for space, Soltero said they will begin to replace old facilities on campus.
“We’re tearing the buildings up and replacing them with something that reflects the character at ASU a little bit better,” Soltero said. “It will have a signature to it, and by that I mean material selections that are different than just plain grey concrete.”
The first phase of the development process will begin on Orange Mall.
“We have embarked on a project to redo all the malls on campus, that’s going to be a ten-year project,” Soltero said. “And what that means is removing all the existing concrete in the malls where you walk, and redoing those so you have a signature to them, and by that I mean they’ll have an integral design.”
There are also plans to increase the student housing population on campus.
University Housing at ASU set a target of a 25 percent increase of its student body on the Tempe campus.
“One of the projects we are aiming to do that’s part of that goal is housing 20,000 students in residence halls on campus,” Soltero said.
According to Soltero, part of the master plan effort is building a 1,400 bed residence hall between Palo Verde East and Palo Verde West, which is now under construction.
Kellie Cloud, executive director of University Housing and Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the residential college experience provides an environment that has a positive impact on a students’ experience by providing resources and support that complement academic life.
“Because we are committed to housing as many freshmen and upper-class students who desire an on-campus experience, we are continually evaluating at our facilities to ensure we can meet student demand,” Cloud said.
By setting an enrollment target of 60,000 students, the University has also began taking measures to increase parking on campus.
Melinda Alonzo, director of Parking and Transit Services at ASU, said the University is in the process of beginning a 10-year comprehensive parking and transportation master plan, taking into consideration all planned development, enrollment goals and other trends to address future need and quantities of parking infrastructure.
“We have started a parking master planning study, so that’s already in progress,” Soltero said. “The idea is to determine what we need to do in terms of sort of a good mixture between public transportation and adding additional parking garages.”
Soltero said there is a lot of development that is happening north of the campus, so the University is also working on a long-term plan with the City of Tempe to determine if there is any sort of reciprocity they can take advantage of.
In terms of the biggest plans for the coming years, Soltero said it is mainly supporting enrollment growth.
“We have a tremendous amount of renovation projects that are already going on,” he said. “More than likely they are going to be in the science, engineering, and math colleges, and that’s where were seeing a lot of growth.”