Open Forums Share Insight into 2020-30 Master Plan

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By Ida Domingo | idomingo1@radford.edu

All Radford University students, staff and faculty were invited to the open forums for the Master Plan of 2020-30.

This open forum was held on Oct. 9-11, with different times for students and faculty. The forms which were held in Heth Hall encouraged attendees to help share feedback on campus development and construction for the next decade to come.

According to an email sent by the university, “The Master Plan will serve as a guide for campus development and construction from 2020 through 2030. In anticipation of University needs moving forward, the plan will provide a guide to facilitate future projects and related efforts.”

Michael Biscotte, Professional Engineer and Director of Facilities Planning & Construction stated, “It is important we engage the university community. The forums yielded a lot of ideas and beneficial conversations,” and that the forum “touched on a wide variety of campus areas of interest.”

The open forum presented the data collection phase of a 20-month planning project and the university’s strategic plan, “Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future.”

President Brian Hemphill states that “The plan will drive each of us in our daily interactions and collaborative efforts to selflessly serve current and future generations of Highlanders.”

Dr. Hemphill continues to say, “Dedicated individuals from the campus community and beyond identified the focal areas within the plan as they worked diligently for more than a year to reflect on the past and prepare for the future.”

The campus master plan focuses on the University’s needs and also provides a guide to utilities, landscaping, maintenance, and construction that involve any future projects. The areas the university plans to improve mostly are academics, residence life, athletics/recreation, and support systems (transportation).

A screenshot from Radford University’s Master Plan.

The many goals of the strategic plan include “academic excellence and research, brand identity, economic development, and community partnerships, philanthropic giving and alumni engagement, student success, and lastly strategic enrollment growth.”

The master plan will also work on improving existing building usage, potential new buildings, open spaces, utilities, transportation/parking, and even the universities success through its students.

During the forum, suggestions for more bike trails, a campus research center, more coordination with the City of Radford on recreation and student services were made. Other conversations included in the forum was about the Center for Adaptive Innovation and Creativity (CAIC) and also capital projects of future buildings and renovations of structures such as the residential halls, the student wellness center and academic buildings.

The Master Planning Committee and the Executive Steering Committee will work on making sure the Master Plan goes accordingly and will take on the recommendations given to them.

PE Biscotte continued to say, “The Master Plan should take a wide broad-stroke look, but must include flexibility to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities that arise along the way.”

In the opening letter for the strategic planning, Dr. Hemphill said,  “With the implementation of Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future, there is no limit to what the future holds and what we can achieve together as one Radford family.”