House: Updated master plan an admirable goal

Last month, the Board of Trustees approved an updated Campus Master Plan that aims to convert the U into a more pedestrian-friendly campus. In addition to several other welcome goals, the plan seeks to shorten walking time between classes, enrich student involvement on-campus and improve sustainability efforts.

One consequence of the plan will be the loss of the U’s golf course, which is slated to be replaced with a research complex and intramural athletic fields. James Kilgore, head golf professional at the golf course, said the change is “devastating to many groups of people” who will be forced to go elsewhere.

Although the loss of such a historic area on campus is unfortunate, The Chronicle feels that the overall vision of the updated master plan is promising. Plus, an area may be reserved for a driving range and putting green, so golf classes can continue.

“We’ve been woefully short of space for intramural and student activities,” conceded Campus planner Eric Browning. “So we converted the golf course into a more all-use area.”

Aside from the plans for the golf course area, the master plan includes plans for a mixed use development near the Stadium TRAX station that will boast retail stores and restaurants that would be a welcome alternative to the dismal dining options Chartwells provides. There are also plans to incorporate new student housing in the development. The project will improve the campus atmosphere and encourage the use of mass transit.

New buildings such as the proposed Student Life Center and USTAR research complex will encourage more engagement from students, faculty and alumni.

The master plan also proposes efforts that would make campus more pedestrian-friendly.

Browning said a subcommittee has been established to discuss how to help pedestrians, bikers, skateboarders, longboarders and others “get around without anyone in their way.”

Although some sacrifices will have to be made, we feel that the master plan encourages involvement, utilization, conservation and convenience.

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