Thursday, March 12, 2009

2020 Plan: The Plan Basics

In what I hope becomes a semi-regular feature of this blog, we will begin to take a look at university's 2020 Master Plan, and specifically how it relates to athletics and construction projects on campus. The plan was developed and released first in 2000-2001, for the purposes of "identifying a comprehensive approach to future campus improvements." While the plan is not specifically for athletics, the athletic facilities are incorporated as part of the greater campus community. Therefore, the plan can give us a glimpse of where MSU's leaders anticipate the program to be, facilities wise, in the year 2020.

While I am starting this overview with the original plan, it is important to note that an update to the plan was released in 2007 showing completed work and reflecting changes in several areas specific to athletics. Links to both the original plan and the 2007 update are located in the sidebar to the right.

The plan was developed with the input of over 50 MSU officials. Specifically from the athletic department was Gregory P. Ianni, Associate Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Many other university officials who work with the athletic department were also involved.

The first mention of the future of the athletic facilities in the plan occurs in Section IV: Facilities Program. Here, the plan proposes specific additions of space to the university. Over 20 years, the plan calls for an additional 3.6 million gross square feet (GSF) of space to be built, at approximately 180,000 - 200,000 GSF per year. Only a small amount of this will be athletic space. According to the plan,
The facilities program has been organized into two time frames. The first is made up of projects currently in planning that would likely be implemented in a near-term period of up to five years. The second time frame consists of future projects that have been identified as long-term needs or goals over the next 20 years and beyond.

The details of the program will surely change over time for both the near-term and long-term elements, due to internal and external considerations that cannot be foreseen.

Athletic projects that were listed in the near term plan (which would have been through 2006):

  • Breslin Center Addition, 31,000 GSF (Berkowitz Center, completed 2002)
  • Jenison Field House Addition, 3,000 GSF (Renovation completed 2001)
  • An additional project on the short term plan that affected athletics was the Shaw Parking and Transit Ramp Addition, 70,000 GSF (Completed 2002)

Athletic projects that were listed in the long term plan:

  • Varsity Baseball, Softball and Soccer Game/Practice Fields, 10-12 acres (DeMartin Soccer Complex, 2008; McLane Baseball Stadium, 2009)
  • Stadium Expansion, 100,000 GSF (Expansion completed 2005)
  • Stadium Parking Ramp, 260,000 GSF

The plan then discusses proposed renovation projects. These projects were not grouped near and long term, but rather suggests a goal to have the projects completed within 20 years. Athletic projects on this list include:

  • Demonstration Hall, 86,627 GSF
  • IM Sports Circle, 179,956 GSF
  • IM Sports West, 233,049 GSF
  • Jenison Fieldhouse, 201,207 GSF

The plan finally proposes buildings to be demolished. Like the renovations, these are projects that may be completed within 20 years. There are no athletic buildings on this list, but there are buildings that would affect athletics include:

  • Central Services (Building just east of Spartan Stadium, where commuter lot buses operate on football gamedays.)
  • Shaw Lane Power Plant (including the famous MSC smokestack visible from inside Spartan Stadium.)

A later section proposes over 20 campus road projects, many of which are major redesigns. Many of these projects affect the athletic experience (driving, busing, parking and tailgating). Many of the major projects on the list are already complete or are currently underway, and include the redesign of the "Sparty" intersection, the Trowbridge extension onto campus, the removal of many traffic roundabouts, and the Farm Lane railroad underpasses.

Parking spaces are also discussed in this section, and the most relevant part of this to athletics is the location of two possible parking ramps. As discussed earlier, there is a proposal for a Stadium Parking Ramp as well as a proposal to demolish Central Services. As you may have inferred, the current location of Central Services is the proposed location of a Stadium Parking Ramp (as well as an additional Spartan Stadium expansion, similar to the west side expansion). The second proposed ramp location is south of Spartan Stadium, on the south side of Shaw Lane where a surface lot now exists. Both of these proposals could significantly affect the gameday tailgating experience.

A final note from the plan that concerns athletics is its protection of open space. In the plan, current open spaces around the athletic complexes are maintained and protected. This includes the areas around the new baseball and soccer complex, and Munn Field. Additionally, the plan mentions the creation of new intramural fields to the west of campus as part of the University Village redevelopment (completed last year).

I hope that this provides a good framework for a continuing discussion of the 2020 plan. Part II of this series will look at the 2007 master plan update, specifically changes between the two plans that affect athletics.

Maps from 2020 Plan.

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