VSU may see a wave of new dorms, classrooms and faculty offices if President Dr. Partrick Schloss’ Master Plan comes into effect in 2015.
Dr. Schloss unveiled his Master Plan Addendum to the Faculty Senate meeting on Oct. 21. The plan shows where a number of proposed new dorms and halls would be and what they will do for the students and faculty. If approved, the plan will be taken to an architect, who will see if the new buildings are able to be built on campus.
The plans to add dorms and buildings stem from the expected increase of students – the largest two-year enrollment in two decades.
The average growth rate for the 2004 Master Plan was an increase of two to three percent per year. The average growth rate today is six percent. Within the plan, Dr. Schloss hopes for the student body to reach to 18,000 in 2015. However, facilities haven’t increased proportionally to meet the enrollment growth.
Landowners surrounding VSU have requested substantial amounts of money from $400,000 to $1 million per acre to give up their space for the new buildings, but Dr. Schloss expressed to faculty that the offers to the school are too high and are greater than the appraised value of the property.
“The cost of land for new development isn’t financially possible,” Dr. Schloss said.
One family met with Dr. Schloss and John Crawford, vice president for advancement, and requested an estimated $2 million for their two acres of land.
“I’m being a little loose with the number,” Dr. Schloss said. “And that’s not based on the appraised value which John and I talked about. It’s based on what they think they can live comfortably in their retirement. I respect them –I would make the same argument.”
Dr. Schloss also assured the faculty that students wouldn’t see any changes in admission requirements or an increase in student fees.
“I don’t want to charge students again,” Dr. Schloss said.
Some students like the idea of a bigger school, but feel like VSU and the administration should focus on fixing some of the problems they have today.
“I’m all for making the school bigger and better, but we need to be more efficient in the way we handle parking situations because at the current number of students we have now, we’re still having issues,” Martre Crawford, a junior Exercise Physiology major, said. “We should handle these issues before we expand.”
Some of the new buildings proposed were Jeanette Hall, a general academic building, a health sciences and business administration building and housing buildings Blazer Hall and Brookwood Hall. The buildings range in cost from $2 to $4 million for residential halls and $5 to $32 million for the academic hall buildings.
Jeanette Hall, a new lecture hall, will be located next to the College of Education, while the health sciences and administration building, particularly for junior and seniors, will be located in the field adjacent to Pound Hall on North Campus. The new building will house a proposed 22 classrooms, 141 offices and the College of Nursing and Business. Because the space next to Pound Hall has many trees, plans will be implemented to reduce the loss of trees during the construction.
Blazer Hall will be located on Patterson Street, where the Bursary, One Card and the vacated Print Shop are located. The seven-story hall will accommodate 500 residents .The One Card office and Bursary will be placed in the new University Center (South), which will be a one-stop student service center. Brookwood Hall, which is a temporary for the hall, will house 700 students and cost an estimated $35 million.
With the new changes possibly coming to VSU, students would also like to see additional food chains.
“I like the idea of a bigger campus, but I know tuition will go up. They say it won’t, but it will,” Kinsely Okekpe , a junior philosophy major, said. “And with all the new students we have now, we don’t have that many places to eat. Nathan’s is gross and The Loop is overpriced.”
While many students feel a new football stadium would be a good addition to campus, Dr. Scholss believes is unnecessary.
“It will cost $22 million and wouldn’t be on campus,” Dr. Schloss said. “The one we have now is better.”
Students believe that VSU should have their own stadium.
“As long as tuition doesn’t rise, it’s fine,” David Augustine, a philosophy economics major, said. “However, we should look into a football stadium as well.”
Toward the end of his presentation, Dr. Schloss told the faculty senate that these ideas weren’t set in stone.
“These are just plans, not impediments,” he said.