New Master Plan Encompasses Many Proposed Campus Improvements

Ramapo College is currently finalizing the Campus Facilities Master Plan, which will outline the main points for new construction and improvement of the campus. The college recently hosted an open house presentation last Thursday, where members of the consulting team clarified the details of the projects and received feedback from the attendees.

“A Campus Facilities Master Plan is a significant milestone in the College’s evolution, and your input is important,” Richard Roberts, associate vice president for administration and finance, said in an email to the student body.

The Facilities Master Plan has several significant goals, including strengthening the heart of campus, expanding the centers of student life, renewing facilities and improving conditions.

The first step of the Facilities Master will be to renovate existing parts of the campus. Several buildings of the academic complex, including the A-Wing, B-Wing, D-Wing, E-Wing and the library, will be renovated to provide better educational standards and prepare the campus for future expansion.

“I thought the Facilities Master Plan was well designed and has the right priorities,” said freshman Kevin Ng. “I noticed that they are planning on performing some much needed work to the academic facilities, which is a terrific direction to go.”

Three main short-term projects are suggested to follow in the next 10 years. One of them is an expansion of the library to provide more study space and an additional entrance on the southern side of the academic complex.

Another possible project includes the construction of a welcome center, attached to either E-wing or the McBride House. It will include a reception area to provide information to prospective students and campus visitors.

“Although it is not part of the immediate goals, I’m excited to see the welcome center. This center could really help everyone as a central hub for information,” said Ng.

The final suggestion is the so-called “heart of campus,” which will include the merging of C-Wing and the Student Center to provide additional dining and recreation space for students.

An assessment of the buildings’ condition, conducted in 2009, determined that the state of wings A through H were “poor,” while the Student Center was in “fair” condition and the library in “good” condition. The Bradley and Berrie Center were not studied.

In regards to the buildings’ capacity to facilitate their designated functions, the library and the Student Center were assessed as “inadequate,” while buildings A through H, as well as the Bradley and Berrie centers, were evaluated as “challenged.”

According to Ramapo College’s website, “Key deliverables include an analysis of existing conditions; a space utilization analysis; development of a prioritized list of future needs for renovations, new construction and infrastructure; massing diagrams for future new construction; and a project implementation schedule.”

After a detailed analysis of offers, Ramapo College designated Urban Strategies in Ontario, Canada as the master planners.

“The firm has to date conducted extensive interviews with college staff, faculty and students and constituent groups such as the Faculty Assembly, Professional Staff Association, and Student Government Association,” the website states.

The goal of the Facilities Master Plan is “to help decision making,” said Warren Price of Urban Strategies. “It should fit below the strategic plan.”

“I think [the College’s] decision to build up the academic complex, as opposed to the residence halls, goes along with the college’s goal to keep enrollment numbers stable,” Ng said. “I thought it was an excellent design and was glad to have the opportunity to see where Ramapo is headed in the future.”