Regan Chandler looking at master plan
Remastered: Regan Chandler, a Memphis junior, looks at a proposed map of the master plan at the Bessie Smith Hall. There are three main phases of the plan which will develop over approximately 15 years.

by Laura Milton

The University unveiled its final master plans for the future of the University Monday night.

There are many changes planned for the campus to accommodate the already growing number of students, officials involved in the design of the plan said.

Dr. Richard Brown, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations, and Information Technology, said that with the new master plan the University will be able to cater to 15,000 students.

The University is already reaching upwards of 12,000 students, Krisan Osterby, the director of campus planning for Perkins and Will, the company in charge of the University’s master plans, said.

Some of the new changes that will be instituted over the next several years are additional academic buildings, new residence halls and more structured parking, according to the plan.

However, with buildings coming, some existing buildings will be torn down, including the Metro Annex and Frist Hall, Osterby said.

With these new addition to campus existing buildings will also be remodeled for other uses.

For example, Lupton Library will be renovated to an academic building so that it is “oriented for teaching and office space,” Osterby said.

Some of the plans show expansion of the campus onto property that has not  yet been purchased by the University.

“This does assume some type of land swap or purchase of land for the student ministries that are in that location,” Osterby said of the ministries on Vine Street.

Chancellor Richard Brown also made a statement about the land that has been planned for, but has not been bought by the University.

He said while the plans for the currently un–purchased land are not definite, he thinks further development onto the properties might be possible.

“Many of those properties we don’t own, and we may never get to own those,” Brown said. “But a plan is just that– a plan and what we say is that if the owners of those properties aren’t using them, the University is very interested in possibly acquiring some of those properties.”

Increased campus housing is also prominently featured in the University’s master plan.

The University wants to build residence halls to house more students, including new residence halls on Martin Luther King Boulevard and near to the existing north campus housing, the master plan shows.

Perkins and Will showed a statistic during their presentation and stated that, in the coming years, they expect a 24/7 residential campus housing 35 percent of undergraduates.

Structured parking will also be featured prominently on the new layout of the campus. With several new parking structures on the outskirts of campus, students at the University can expect to have a more pedestrian-friendly campus, Osterby said.

Regan Chandler, a Memphis junior, said she is excited for the newly proposed plans.

“I like that they are trying to make UTC more of a community,” Chandler said. “It looks like they want to get students together in new ways and reach out to the community at the same town.  I love the campus and I can’t want to see how it grows.”

The University’s website has further details and photos concerning the campus master plan.

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