Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Campus Master Plan Update
Over the course of 12 years and several significant planning efforts, Sasaki and Auburn University have worked closely to define a vision for the Auburn campus. Many of the plans have been implemented and, today, demonstrate powerful results in aligning the physical campus with Auburn’s mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities. In 2002, Sasaki worked with the Auburn community to create the first comprehensive plan for the campus in over 25 years. This plan guided a series of implemented projects, including five major academic buildings and the pedestrianization of the campus core.
In 2006, the university again engaged Sasaki to update the plan. This update helped redefine the land grant legacy of Auburn around an ethic of stewardship and sustainability. It built upon the quality of place found in the core campus, and has resulted in several landscape projects as well as the West Campus Village housing district. In 2012, Sasaki was engaged by the university for a third time to update the master plan, providing detailed planning guidance for the university’s internal planning team.
The 2006 update created a growth boundary that concentrates development in the campus core. The plan also established a vision for several significant landscape projects and facilities that have now been implemented in response to student and academic needs. These projects include Stadium Green, a major open space that reclaims the heart of the campus from parking. Flanked by a new student union, Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn’s football stadium), and existing housing, Stadium Green is now the campus’s primary open space for day-to-day activities and game-day events serving students, alumni, and the broader community.
The 2006 update also guided construction of the West Campus Village housing district, which provides 1,600 beds of housing and a dining hall. The West Campus Village is located in close proximity to the academic core with the intent of engaging students in the collegiate experience. It also includes Auburn’s new basketball arena which was deliberately located in the West Campus Village to encourage students to attend basketball games. With the West Campus Village now complete, the university is able to house 80% of the freshmen class, an objective in line with initiatives to support the academic success of students.
The 2013 Update focuses on baseline planning materials and data needed for Auburn’s internal planning team to update the plan on a more regular basis. It provides detailed guidance for 12 planning elements: space needs, academic buildings, land use, campus landscape, health sciences, student housing, quality of life, campus transportation, campus security, athletics, sustainability, and research. The planning elements provide goals for these respective areas and depth in key areas where data and information are critical to decision-making. The space needs element in particular provides a quantitative basis for allocating space on a college and departmental level. The land use element codifies for the first time Auburn’s extensive areas of field labs that support the agricultural, forestry, and veterinary teaching and research missions. The university now records and organizes information (e.g., total acreage and current uses) about the field labs to assist with future land use allocation decisions.
The 2013 Update also establishes key goals and provides a foundation upon which additional detail and information can be added to inform decision-making and to ensure that Auburn remains true to its place-based goals and objectives. The master plan is available on the Auburn Campus Planning and Space Management website.
For more information contact Greg Havens.