The Mississippi State University Master Plan provides a vision for the campus informed by the academic, research, and outreach mission of the university, the history, traditions, and resources of the campus, and MSU's sustainability goals. Sasaki's master plan provides planning guidance for the entire 4,400-acre contiguous land grant campus including the university research park and outlying land utilized for agricultural, forestry, and veterinary mission-related purposes. The plan enhances the academic and research environment in support of the MSU mission, protects the history and traditions of the campus, promotes an ethic of stewardship and sustainability, improves campus and community life, and fosters connectivity and cooperation with the community.
The recommendations of the master plan are structured by means of the MSU Sustainability Framework, which addresses a comprehensive range of social, environmental, and economic elements relevant to the campus context and mission. The social elements include campus demographics, the mission, the sense of place, and the quality of life both on campus and in the broader community. The environmental elements fall into three categories: natural systems, the built environment, and resource flows. The economic elements address campus financial and partnership concerns. Along with the design recommendations of the master plan, the sustainability framework provides an integrated, metrics-based approach to planning.
The planning recommendations are organized into a series of physical design, programmatic, and functional frameworks which address community, land use, landscape, cultural resources, learning and research, campus life, mobility, and infrastructure issues. The framework plans integrate and layer multiple strategies for campus circulation systems, land use, stormwater management, and cultural resources.
The proposed Green Corridor represents one such integrated strategy at the center of the campus. It is defined by the low lying areas of the campus and includes north-south pedestrian and bicycle routes, recreation fields, and stormwater management facilities. These proposed facilities are unified by the landscape framework, which provides a comprehensive shade strategy coordinated with the pedestrian and bike networks as well as recommendations for water receiving landscapes. The Cultural Corridor represents a second integrated strategy. It draws on the history of the campus to link the historic buildings and iconic open spaces of the campus to downtown Starkville— the host community—along a former rail alignment. The Cultural Corridor re-establishes the physical linkages between the campus and downtown via pedestrian and bicycle routes. The master plan also re-establishes President's Circle, a significant campus open space lost to redevelopment in the 1960s. President's Circle is reimaged in the master plan as campus landscape and redevelopment site.
The master plan responds to several short-term needs associated with projected enrollment increases, including a classroom and dining facility, housing, and a multi-modal parking facility adjacent to the campus core. The overall master plan is coordinated with the recommendations of a detailed athletics master plan for indoor and outdoor facilities.