Written by Steven Keith
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 00:00
MACOMB — The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees approved a 20-year master plan for its Macomb campus during a Dec. 14 meeting.
The “Western Illinois University, Macomb Campus Master Plan 2012-2032: Enhancing the Student Experience” sets goals and plans for the university for the next 20 years. It was drafted based on feedback from the Board of Trustees, a campus committee, campus groups and studies from campus architects, SmithGroup JJR. The university’s Civil Service Employees Council, Faculty Senate, Council of Administrative Personnel and Student Government Association have endorsed the plan.
The 2012-2032 master plan is a continuation of the university’s 2007 master plan.
“This is considered an update of the 2007 plan,” said Western Illinois University Director of Facilities Management Scott Coker. “The 2007 plan was the first Macomb campus master plan completed in over two decades, so it had a very grand vision and plan for the campus and looked at things in a very broad spectrum.
“With a different economy and being an update, this plan took a more pragmatic look at the campus and while it has the big long-term goals, it has more zero-to-five- year ideas.”
About 75 percent of the goals set in the 2007 master plan have either been completed, are currently in progress or will continue in the updated master plan.
The largest project that was outlined in the 2007 master plan and updated in the 2012-2032 master plan is the development of a $72 million performing arts center.
“The university has been planning for a performing arts center for several years and felt that it was the greatest academic need on campus,” said Coker. “The building will serve as an academic building for the College of Fine Arts and Communication, along with being a cultural and performing arts destination for the region.”
The performing arts center will be located on the southwest side of the Macomb campus along Western Avenue. It will connect to Browne Hall and consolidate performance spaces close to classrooms in Brown, Memorial and Sallee halls. Corbin Hall, a residence hall, will be adjacent to the performing arts center.
The performing arts center will include a 1,400-seat proscenium theatre auditorium with two balconies, a 250-seat thrust stage and a 150-seat studio theatre. It will also include dance, jazz and theatre rehearsal studios as well as dressing rooms adjacent to the theatres, a scenery/design workshop, a costume shop, a box office, administration offices and a loading dock that will accommodate semis and buses for professional touring companies and orchestras. It is a capital project that will be funded by the Illinois Capital Development Board.
“We have completed the design for the performing arts center and are waiting for the State of Illinois to release construction funds,” said Coker. “Our hope is that the State will release funds in the spring and construction can commence then. The construction time is expected to take around three years and provide 400 construction jobs.”
Other projects outlined in the 2007 master plan include a new science building, a renovation of the west side of Hanson Field, a relocation of the heating plant, a new visual arts building, a new education building and a new basketball area.
“Our goal is that some of these will start in the five-year time frame and some will be in the 20-year time frame,” said Coker.
The 20-year master plan also outlines an improvement to the entrance of the campus at University Drive and Route 67, the construction of a parking garage between Malpass Library and Knoblauch Café as well as several other smaller renovation projects in academic buildings.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 15:23