As the University of La Verne dives into the “2020 Strategic Vision,” students and faculty prepare for the next major changes to the campus: the removal of Stu-Han and Brandt Residence Halls, the Interfaith Chapel and the Lawn. The future offers bright new residence buildings, a large interfaith center and a dining hall. While these campus facelifts are exciting, a more pressing issue – the lack of classroom space and academic buildings on the main campus – is at hand, and should be addressed before accommodating more students with new dorm facilities.
The 2020 plan highlights education as a primary goal for the next few years and seeks to improve University programs. The plan should extensively improve technology and access for all programs, which will expand and receive updates and more funding. However, the plan does not address the location for these changes in an already limited classroom environment. With space severely stretched to schedule classes, more classrooms are needed to allow for the expected influx of students that will fill the new dorms.
While the parking structure and later campus additions will improve the overall appeal of La Verne and campus life, they will not expand the much-needed physical class space. The vision plan maps out four points to improve campus infrastructure, which only includes “identifying appropriate land and facility usage to support evolving campus and community needs,” increasing housing, updating the infrastructure to meet environmentally friendly standards and to improve inclusivity. It does not specify plans for academic buildings within the next few years.
The 2020 plan has already made La Verne more convenient with the addition parking structure, and the announcements of the new buildings have left many students eager for the new changes, even though we have to wait years until they are completed. While the Master Plan of 2030 may offer the class spaces we are currently lacking, La Verne students cannot wait any longer for academic facilities. This should be a priority over housing. By the time La Verne is prepared to add the academic buildings, current students will not be able to enjoy the amenities that their education is desperately needing.