By Kim Lamb Gregory

Construction of Santa Rosa Village, CI’s third phase of student housing.The vision for CI’s future is coming more sharply into focus.

“We are at a very exciting time where we are looking at our growth and assessing what the University’s needs are for space across the campus, and from there, looking at opportunities to grow the campus in new and innovative ways,” said CI’s Director of Planning, Design & Construction, John Gormley.

Gormley is leading the charge for CI Vision 2025, a dynamic plan to develop the University so that it can best serve the expected doubling in size of students over the next decade. By 2025, campus enrollment is estimated to be approximately 10,000 students, so CI must be prepared with more support and more space.

“We need a variety of types of spaces that will accommodate our growth including instruction and administrative space, student support and student life, to name a few,” Gormley said. Plans are still fluid, Gormley said, but new construction will likely include areas dedicated to spaces to accommodate classes, academic advising, and student support services such as financial aid and food service.

“We’re doing campus planning in a new way that looks toward 21st century learning and how to best support that as we grow,” Gormley said. “It’s interactive and experiential team-based learning. There will be traditional, formalized instruction with an instructor lecturing in front of a room of 40 students, but learning can also include a space where four students can gather to discuss their project.”

Tied to the mission of growing the campus is the evolution of University Glen, a community of affordable homes, townhomes and apartments in the East Campus that was developed as a financial support mechanism to benefit the University.

CI will continue to vigorously pursue state support, but resources to fund capital facilities is very limited, so CI’s Vision 2025 proposes the support of philanthropy and public/private partnerships.

In October, the University’s Site Authority Board approved the concept to seek proposals from developer/operators interested in purchasing the existing 328 apartments in the East Campus University Glen Community. The apartments would be sold and the proceeds would benefit the University’s continued growth.

“We’re going to the CSU Board of Trustees in November to get their approval of concept,” Gormley said. “Then we will issue a request for proposals afterward.” Once the board approves the concept, Gormley said the actual solicitation will likely occur early in 2016.

“We are also in the process of developing another request for proposal for the development of the remaining 32-acre parcel of University Glen that was approved by the CSU Board of Trustees in March,” Gormley said. “We are looking at options to develop the site to generate revenue for the Site Authority which in turn supports the University.” Gormley said the type of dwellings that will go up is still under review, but “we are exploring development opportunities that fit within the University’s master plan and that are consistent with the existing neighborhood,” he said.

The existing University Glen neighborhood, which houses faculty, staff, and other members of the community, consists of two-story detached single homes, townhomes and apartments. Meetings with the residents of University Glen have been ongoing, Gormley said, and will continue as CI’s Vision 2025 progresses.

Through all of the planning, Gormley said he keeps the needs of CI’s present and future students as his compass. “We’re looking at what does it really mean to teach the next generation of leaders in this state,” he said.

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© Fall 2015 / Volume 19 / Number 02 / Bi-annual

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