Master Plan looks toward 2000, beyond

The major improvement on the La Verne campus is the new Landis Academic Center, to include the Wilson Library, which is moving ahead of schedule. It is slated to open in November. / photo by Garrison Chaffee
The major improvement on the La Verne campus is the new Landis Academic Center, to include the Wilson Library, which is moving ahead of schedule. It is slated to open in November. / photo by Garrison Chaffee

by Amber Neri
Staff Writer

A long-term vision for the University includes the possibilities of expansion, renovation, implementation and adaptation.

The Master Plan, “2000 and Beyond,” was put together by Claremont Environmental Design Group, Inc., in April to give ULV some directional possibilities for the future either to be implemented at the same time or as funds become available.

This Master Plan intends to only present a big picture, providing a vision of what could happen on the campus as the University proceeds into the next millennium. It grows out of the University Mission Statement and gives expression to the needs articulated by the academic and administrative units. It also responds to the needs of the community expressed in the Lordsburg Specific Plan and other community planning documents.

Although this is only a tentative plan for ULV, the purpose is to continue looking into possibilities for what the University might need in the future.

“It [the Master Plan] is a proposal and a draft, and by no means final. It is a starting point for future projects that may or may not make it to fruition,” said President Stephen Morgan.

Five proposed recommendations include acquiring additional land adjacent to campus, which will be made possible by way of leasing and purchasing land on the east side of the present campus, and continuing the acquisition of land in the block south of Second Street. Developing a strong connection along Second Street ties the segment of the campus existing east of D Street to the main campus. This would be done by eliminating the extension of C Street south of Third Street, enhancing the landscape along Second Street south of Wilson Library and providing strong pedestrian crossings at Second and D streets linking the two segments of the campus.

Increasing the density of the existing campus, to improve the sense of place and intensify the use of the grounds, would mean remodeling existing buildings such as the Baum Building to adapt them to new uses.

There is also an opportunity to redevelop the site now occupied by the Kilo and the Maintenance building and design a significant new academic building that would have a presence on the main street of Old Town La Verne.

In order to respond to “Tidal Wave II,” the projected 43 percent increase in incoming students, the campus could increase the number of resident students. This would involve renovating the existing residence halls and possibly adding a new dorm on the designated building site along Bonita Avenue east of the Chapel. This requires increasing the dining facilities by either expanding the present facility eastward into the old C Street right-of-way, or adding a second story.

Another proposed point is moving Ben Hines Field to enable the University to use the center of the campus more intensively. For example, a parking structure along the south edge of the main campus would provide parking in the core and buffer the railroad tracks. A proposed pedestrian core would connect the existing campus with the expansion east of D Street. The pedestrian core will provide access to building sites for more intensive uses of this core area. These will include new academic buildings. There also could be room for a small swimming facility near the Student Center if funding became available.

The plan lays the groundwork for the campus environment to become a vehicle for teaching students environmental ethics and the interrelationship between humans and the natural environment. The landscape can enhance the microclimate, providing both shading and solar access where appropriate. Careful landscape design can also make it more sustainable, reducing the need for water, fertilizer and maintenance.

The University has experienced considerable growth through satellite programs off-campus. It is anticipated that this will continue to occur, providing growth opportunities that do not directly impact the resident campus. By connecting to satellite programs off-campus, and extending outreach by using information technology, the University would be able to conduct teaching and learning as well as provide support services on-line.

The plan makes it possible to reduce the need for traditional laboratories and studios by setting up interactive information environments in which students will access computer labs on campus or at off-campus study centers, as well as from their own personal computers.

Using these information environments, lab students can work on-line with simulations. Art students can work with digital media and access electronic studios to interact with others and share their work on-line. While this may reduce some need for traditional classroom space and support facilities, it creates the need for other elements.

A written copy of the plan states that the University needs an information infrastructure element to assure the University builds the necessary information highways (“I-ways”) on campus to connect computer centers with labs, classrooms, meeting and presentation rooms, faculty offices and student dorm rooms.

Although many of ULV’s desired plans are in the distant future, the present reality for the San Fernando Valley College of Law campus is at hand. It will move to a larger and more modern facility in the Warner Center, located in Woodland Hills, said Dr. Morgan.

“The move will be complete before the start of the fall semester on August 21,” said Dr. Morgan.

This move will not affect the central campus. The new law school quarters has 32,000 square feet and is 40 percent larger than the present facility in Encino. According to Kenneth Held, dean of the ULV College of Law, the move was prompted by the need for more classrooms and parking to accommodate planned enrollment growth.

“Accredited by the California Committee of Bar Examiners and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the only law school in the San Fernando Valley, ULV is growing in importance in the legal life of this region,” said Held. “The Warner Center location will provide a center for legal scholarship and service for the area’s legal and business communities.”

Amber Neri
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