Campus Master Plan Presented

Campus Master Plan Presented

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The final version of the Campus Master Plan presented on Oct. 18 was free of the proposals that stirred controversy last spring when possible new uses for the university’s agricultural land were discussed. Instead, the updated plan emphasizes a renewed commitment to the open space.

The plan to “renovate, rehabilitate and reuse” UNH properties lists 56 potential projects with 12 considered top priorities. Details were outlined during the meeting held at Huddleston Hall. Provost John Aber called the list “a template, not an action plan.”

That template includes, among other ideas, a new Center for the Arts, repurposing McConnell Hall, the expansion of the recreation center, graduate housing, continued study of the outdoor pool, parking garages, and public-private ventures such as an entrepreneurial research park on UNH land or an office park that utilizes private financing, public incentives, and long‐term lease commitments by UNH and private tenants. Controls would come in the form of local zoning regulations, design guidelines and state approvals.

The majority of those who spoke at the meeting were Durham residents who repeated concerns raised at previous open forums: the suggestion that the outdoor pool is beyond repair and should be closed; relocating the equine center; and the earlier notion that land on the west edge of campus might go to commercial development.

Resident Julian Smith was one of the residents who lobbied for the outdoor pool. In response to the comment that the pool, built in 1938, is “at the end of its useful life,” Smith noted he is older and not at the end of his usefulness. Another resident offered detailed suggestions for expanding the Whittemore Center that would not encroach on the pool.

Sarah Hamilton, director of the equine program, said she was pleased to see the updated plan keeps the equine center where it is and asked to be involved “earlier than later” should changes impacting the facility and its counterparts develop.

The plan will next go to President Mark Huddleston for his review.

Details of the plan can be found at Watch a video of the presentation here