April 3, 1998
UW-River Falls Planning 10-Year Redesign of Campus
by Ellie Walradth
UW-RF News Bureau
UW-River Falls is asking the public for its suggestions as the campus launches its first campus exterior master plan in nearly three decades.
A meeting has been set for the general community to offer its opinions at 7 p.m. on April 13 in Room 127 of South Hall. That will be followed on April 14 with a round of meetings with students, faculty and staff.
Those suggestions will be heard by Ken Saiki Design, a landscape architecture consulting firm from Madison, which has been hired to develop a 10-year campus exterior master plan.
For the University, the exterior master plan will be the first produced by an outside consultant since 1968. The consulting firm will collaborate with faculty, staff, students and community members to design a plan that addresses issues such as parking and transportation, land use patterns, sites for new buildings, proper locations for roads, sidewalks, lighting, planting beds, trees, signage, and site amenities like benches and picnic tables.
"The goal is to make the campus more appealing, beautiful and safe," says Dale Braun, campus planner. "The plan will be a cookbook for how we want our campus to look."
The plan will take six months to devise, with the planning period being broken into three phases. The first phase, an information gathering phase, will continue until the end of the semester.
Over the summer, the second phase will address technical issues such as housing, parking and transportation routes and involve campus personnel, city officials, and state agency employees.
The campus will work out the details of the plan during the third phase next fall. The plan is expected to be finalized in October and implemented with improvements beginning in 1999.
Some ideas for the plan include creating a campus mall area, redirecting sidewalks and allocating space for a new residence hall. The main goal is to functionally and aesthetically unify the campus with its surroundings, Braun says.
"We've known that we've needed a plan for 10 years. Now, through reallocation of funds and because of better economic times, we're able to have one," says Braun.
An estimated $40,000 from campus funding will be used to develop the exterior master plan. The final plan will include recommendations on the phasing and preliminary cost estimates of various design solutions.
Continuous updates on the plan, including graphics and photographs, will be posted at soon on a new campus World Wide Web site. For more information about the plan or process, contact Braun at 715/425-3840.