Master plan options discussed for ESU

Expect Emporia State University to adopt a long-term master plan by next spring. How that plan impacts the growth and development of ESU the next 10 to 20 years remains to be seen, but there are a lot of options available.

University administrators and staffers were invited to a special presentation detailing those options Monday. Consultant Dennis Strait says this is an opportunity to see how the campus needs to move forward -- and to consider the possibilities for radical change.

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University Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Affairs Ray Hauke is awaiting the feedback from the campus and the community at large.

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Three general plans were offered, each revolving around different entryways to campus. Emphasis on improving the north entrance near Highland could lead to removing the 15th Avenue trip thrugh campus, effectively trading the Art Annex on Highland for the Stormont Facilities Building near Wooster Lake and new campus apartments near Wilson Park. Emphasizing a 15th Avenue entrance could possibly lead to eliminating Cremer Hall and new apartment housing east of Beach Music Hall. Putting the emphasis on the current south entrance could lead to the removal of trees in Kellogg Circle to make Plumb Hall more visible along trading a row of parking along Merchant with a row of trees as well as new student housing in the 1100 block of Commercial.

Entrance emphasis: Near Highland Street

*Create entry north of One-Room Schoolhouse.
*Replace Stormont Facilities Building with Art Annex. Facilities building would then replace Art Annex on Highland Street.
*Remove 15th Avenue through campus. Add campus housing along part of the former street.
*Add apartments north of Wilson Park and north of Singular/Trusler Halls.
*Enhance pedestrian crossings at Merchant, Commercial and Market.
*Add visitor center with National Teachers Hall of Fame adjacent to One Room Schoolhouse.
*Renovate and improve utilization of existing classrooms to create "academic commons" effect.

Entrance emphasis: 15th Avenue

*Create new entrance at 15th and reconfigure current access road between Welch Stadium and Wooster Lake.
*Eliminate Cremer Hall. Relocate displaced spaces to Butcher and Visser.
*Reduce 12th Avenue to three or two lanes.
*Create new building frontage for Art Annex. Put facilities department in Art Annex.
*Eliminate parking north of Science Hall.
*Create new apartments east of Beach Hall.
*Add residence halls near Singular/Trusler.

Entrance emphasis: 12th and Commercial

*Remove trees down the middle of Kellogg Circle, making Plumb Hall more visible from Commercial Street.
*Remove one row of parking and above-ground utilities along Merchant. Replace with a row of trees.
*Replace Stormont Facilities Building with student housing.
*Add apartments in 1000 block of Commercial.
*Renovate existing buildings. Possibly add an academic building near Plumb Hall.
*Move art studio to a Commercial Street storefront.

Strait is recommending Abigail Hall and North Morse Hall be removed with each of the general options, with a natatorium and new athletic practice facility added as well.

President Dr. Michael Shonrock will update the Kansas Board of Regents on the university's strategic planning process in December.

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