What will Wake Forest’s campus look like in 10 or more years? A master plan is an attempt to answer that and other questions.
What is a master plan?
A master plan is an effort to understand current and future needs, not just in terms of buildings, but also in terms of traffic and parking, the environment, green spaces, water sheds, utilities, etc. The thrust of a campus master plan is not to identify individual or departmental space needs. It’s a more broad-based look at the campus. One of the most important things a good plan does is look at the “synergies” between buildings as well as providing for a landscape scheme that knits the buildings together. A good example of that is our “science quad” where the three science buildings are located close together.
When was the last campus plan developed?
Wake Forest has had only one master plan, the one that Jens Larson developed in the 1950s. It has been updated four times, in 1988, 1991, 2000 and 2009. In each of the earlier updates the focus was more on a specific area of campus or to address specific needs, such as a site for a building, rather than looking at the campus as a whole. The most recent update of the plan was much more comprehensive.
Are previous plans available to view?
The 1986, 2000 updates, as well as the most recent 2009 plan, are available in electronic form.
What assumptions about growth or specific needs were made in the most recent plan?
No stated objectives or assumptions about campus needs were made at the outset of the planning process. This was intentionally avoided so as not to constrain members of the campus community in their thinking. The goal of the process was to find out what needs existed and to come up with a final plan that meets those needs in a manner that respects the history and traditions of the campus while providing a roadmap for future development.
Did the University’s Strategic Plan affect the Master Plan?
Certainly the two plans overlap. The strategic plan defines what the campus feels is important and what the space needs might be for strategic priorities. Those priorities did influence the development of the master plan.
Did the master planning process include just the campus proper or extend to surrounding areas, such as Polo Road, and even over to Deacon Boulevard?
The primary focus of the plan is the Reynolda Campus, not on surrounding properties.
How did the process ensure that those with historical knowledge of and appreciation for the campus’ special appeal and environment be heard?
The process was very inclusive of the entire campus community. Several open forums were held for the campus community, as well as the local community, to provide input to the plan and to be kept updated as the plan developed. Members of the campus community expressed appreciation of campus traditions, the charm of campus, its residential nature, and the impressive core of campus.
What happens now that the most recent master plan has been completed?
It’s important to remember that the master plan is not so much one final document as options to consider for the future. Generally a master plan attempts to cover a 20 to 50 year time period in terms of how the campus should develop. So after the master plan is finalized, there will be a shorter term plan that sets priorities to cover five to 10 years. That also means that it is helpful to update a master plan every five to 10 years in order to adapt the plan to changing conditions.