Provost presents Belknap master plan to trustees
New academic buildings. A recreation building near new student housing. Green spaces. A research park. And a center for performing arts.
These are among the many changes that could be part of the university's Belknap Campus over the next 20 years, according to a new master plan unveiled to the UofL Board of Trustees Nov. 12.
Provost Shirley Willihnganz presented the plan, which calls for about $1.1 billion in capital improvements over the next 20 years. Financed by university, state and private funding, the plan would more than double the university's current building space to more than 5 million gross square feet.
Willihnganz called the plan "conceptual," adding that it will serve as a guide even if actual development is altered to meet the changing needs of campus over the next two decades.
The plan calls for a new academic building in the campus core of campus and for development in five other locations:
- North Campus, north of Cardinal Boulevard: This location would see new student housing, academic support facilities and an arts center.
- West Campus, near the area that includes the Masterson's restaurant and Chevron properties, as well as Johnson and Kurz student residence halls: This location would support more student housing, retail developments and a new student recreation center.
- East Campus, south of Eastern Parkway and including the location of the silos near I-65: This area would be tagged for "special use," which could include academic and research offices and facilities.
- Floyd Street corridor: This area would see addition of an athletics administration building, bicycle and walking trails and softball and multipurpose fields.
- South Campus/Nucleus South, the area south of Speed School of Engineering that includes the recently purchased Kentucky Trailer property: The location would be home to an academic/research cluster that focuses on instruction and business incubation related to engineering and related fields.
The plan also includes both surface parking and new parking structures.
Willihnganz stressed that the plan takes into account the need to maintain the park-like atmosphere of Belknap Campus and the university's commitment to sustainability. Large walkways and significant green space will be important components of the plan, she said.
Student trustee OJ Oleka praised the plan and said he is excited about the prospect of someday bringing his children to campus to see the completed project.