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.
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.
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.
The primary focus of the plan is the Reynolda Campus, not on surrounding properties.
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.
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.