Editorial: Master plan needs reworking

Our View


Eastern’s campus master plan was designed in 1999 and has not been reviewed or updated since 2002.


Because technical advancements and funding opportunities come and go, the master plan needs to be reviewed every two years.

Eastern’s campus has seen some significant changes in the past few years with more still on the way. With Doudna’s completion comes the necessity for more parking. With the current steam plant wheezing and coughing, we need a new, more efficient way to supply power to campus. And on top of all that, plans for the new Textbook Rental facility are already underway.

There is no requirement for how often the campus master plan is reviewed. When a project begins, the master plan is assessed and then revised accordingly.

The plan Eastern is currently working with was mapped out in 1999 and projected a 15-year plan of campus improvements and additions.

The campus master plan has not been reviewed since 2002 and a committee has plans to meet in the spring. Many goals have been fulfilled in the campus plan, but a review is long overdue.

Last spring, Gary Reed, director of facilities planning and management, mentioned the importance of keeping the master plan as up to date as possible. But much has changed since 1999. Going green has become a popular trend at Eastern and new, energy-saving technology is out there.

If the campus master plan would have been reviewed every two years instead of every five years, Eastern might be able to save some money. With a sharper, more organized plan, more attention could be paid to small details, such as deciding which type of light bulbs will save the most money.

And with the constant shift of technology, plans to improve efficiency from seven years ago might not be the best option today. It only makes sense to review the plan more often. If these details are overlooked in the campus plan, Eastern will end up spending money to make necessary upgrades later.

Granted, the state has not been supportive of Eastern’s capital projects, but constant review is necessary since the administration finds keen forms of funding projects and less expensive ideas could initiate forms of funding.

A lot of work goes into creating a campus master plan. The review committee has and will have many details to review within our current and future projects, namely the anticipated arrival of the Renewable Energy Center.

The plan should be assessed every two years so ideas can be exchanged on ways the plan can be improved to accommodate Eastern’s constant progression to fit President Bill Perry’s mission.

When options are considered for a longer period of time, it is easier to weigh out the best possible decisions rather than only looking at a project when its construction is ready to begin. Administrators should consider meeting more frequently to address the campus master plan and examine, and maybe even apply, the options that are available as technology and life on campus changes.