A Plan for the Future

January, 2005

A new long-range master plan will serve as PSU’s framework for the next decade.

A concept for North Campus housing, from the PSU Campus Master Plan. Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman.

A concept for North Campus housing, from the PSU Campus Master Plan. Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman.

It has been 10 years since Plymouth State commissioned the firm of Wallace, Roberts & Todd to help develop a tool to guide campus growth and development. Since then, many of the projects recommended in that plan have been successfully implemented, including renovations and additions to Lamson Library, the Draper & Maynard Building, Prospect Dining Hall, the Hartman Union Building and, most recently, Boyd Science Center.

But after a decade, it was time to reassess what the University’s needs were likely to be. To that end, PSU commissioned the Perkins Eastman Team, a group of campus master planners, academic planners, architects, landscape architects and engineers to prepare a new master plan that will guide the campus for the next 10 to 20 years.

A 28-member master plan steering committee was formed, consisting of PSU administrators, faculty and students, as well as June Hammond Rowan, then community planner for the town of Plymouth. They were charged with guiding the project and providing needed insight and information to the Perkins Eastman Team throughout the planning process.

Representatives from the towns of Plymouth and Holderness were also asked to be involved. The community subcommittee included business leaders, the chair of the Main Street Plymouth design committee, representatives from the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and Speare Memorial Hospital, as well as Plymouth’s fire chief and the chair of the planning committee for the town of Holderness. The steering committee met several times with the selectmen and planning boards for both towns.

“Their participation was extremely important in terms of setting directions,” notes Bill Crangle, vice president for finance at PSU. “They are the community leaders and their input was very valuable to the process.”

As Perkins Eastman note in their final report, “The final master plan builds on past reports and was developed by a consensus driven approach-listening, learning and addressing the concerns of the campus and surrounding community. It is also the result of a purposefully iterative process and involved upwards of 100 meetings, interviews, workshops, public community forums, site visits, and extensive data review and analysis that all helped inform and redefine previous assumptions.”

Guidelines for improving the academic and student environment include adjusting classroom size and balancing room use, providing more indoor and outdoor student gathering places across campus and expanding space for physical education. Future academic need is predicated on the assumption that there will only be a modest increase in traditional undergraduate student enrollment, with primary growth occurring as a result of non-traditional and graduate student enrollment.

PSU President Donald P. Wharton says, “Through rededication and renovation of selected spaces across campus, both residential and commuting students will have more opportunity for the kinds of social and academic interaction that are so important to their university experience.”

Other highlights of the long-range plan:

  • Add residence hall spaces to provide 650 new beds on campus.
  • Upgrade and expand the PE Center, to include academic space for the HPER department, a new swimming pool and an ice rink, both to be available for community recreation.
  • Develop standards and guidelines for the campus on how to build and renovate buildings in ways that help make PSU environmentally sustainable into the future.
  • Create an entranceway for the University that directs visitors to one location, creating a “sense of arrival.” Relocate admission and administrative functions to Rounds Hall, the most recognizable landmark on campus and the campus’ ceremonial heart.
  • “Right size” classrooms to match their use, from current 17 square feet per student to 25 square feet per student.
  • Address deferred maintenance in residence halls, with a particular focus on energy efficiency.
  • Expand Hyde Hall to increase academic space.

The full plan is available for review online at www.plymouth.edu/finman/mplan/mplanindex.htm.

Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire approved the long-range master plan in October 2004. “The plan’s development process was thoughtful, inclusive and exhaustive, and the resulting document creates a great blueprint for the future of PSU’s campus,” comments President Wharton.

-MLS


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