NMU President Fritz Erickson summarized the Campus Master Plan at Wednesday’s meeting of the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Advisory Committee. Key elements, all of which are contingent on external funding, include strengthening the academic core and creating an expanded arts corridor with a new university-community performance venue and parking ramp. Other proposals relate to the following: enhanced athletic facilities; additional student housing options; a pedestrian- and bike-friendly, non-automotive corridor; and increased accessibility through internal connectors to new buildings.
“The campus master plan tells us where buildings should go, with only the broadest suggestion of what could go in them,” Erickson said. “As you secure the funding, then you really start to get to the granular level. It’s a continuous process. One thing we know is that all academic programs belong in the heart of campus. That includes the Jacobetti programs, with a new career and technical center. There could be a connector over the road to a building housing the College of Business. We also need a new laboratory building for the sciences because there’s a shortage of lab space right now.”
Erickson said the plan calls for the Health Center, along with Counseling and Consultation Services, to be relocated to the student housing area, with Gries Hall likely to be taken down. NMU is exploring the feasibility of adding one more residential building to The Woods complex, and possible apartments/mixed retail buildings along Presque Isle Avenue. New space at Hedgcock could accommodate student organizations and support services.
Desirable athletic facility enhancements include a new swimming pool, basketball court, Nordic ski team space, a second ice sheet and tennis courts.
NMU updates its Campus Master Plan every decade and is doing so this year with the help of Smith Group, an integrated design firm with offices in the U.S. and China. Erickson said the plan will be referenced during a university forum early next semester and presented to the Board of Trustees in February.