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Student Senate gets an update on the Comprehensive Master Plan

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University Planner Shawna Bolin attended the Student Senate meeting Wednesday to update the Senate on Ohio University’s Comprehensive Master Plan.

The CMP, updated every ten years, attempts to provide an outline for OU’s plans moving forward. This plan is meant to lead the university in the right direction, considering things like campus expansion and renovation of the greens.

“The best master plan will remain flexible and keep options open,” Bolin said.

The current CMP was adopted in 2006, making it time for a new plan to be developed. With the assistance of Bolin, Ohio University began a 15-month process of updating OU’s CMP in October 2014 and has now created a tentative idea for the CMP.

While covering a wide range of future plans for the university, some of the most important plans revolved around strengthening existing greens, conceptualizing three new greens and making Ohio University a more “cohesive and connected campus.”

Bolin stressed the importance of the relationship between Ohio University and its natural setting around the Hocking River, suggesting that the university split up some areas of the current South Green, creating three new greens within it. The proposed greens are tentatively titled West River Green, South River Green and East River Green.

The new CMP also sets forth plans to strengthen the greens that currently exist, specifically North Green.

“If you’ve been on North Green, it doesn’t feel like a green,” Bolin said, emphasizing the importance of a connected campus. “We can do a lot there to make it better.”

Some of these changes include renovating Seigfred and Glidden Halls, creating an “Arts and Education Center” and creating more areas for parking.

With parking in mind, the CMP also plans to separate cars from the inner college area, in order to create a stronger campus feel. To do this, parking areas will be moved to strategic places surrounding campus.

According to Bolin, there will be no loss in the number of provided parking lots. Current parking areas will be renovated to serve other needs, and new areas will be built to replace them.

The Comprehensive Master Plan also suggests a framework for renovating The Ridges, turning the area into yet another green for the campus while preserving its historical value. This green would be intended more for administrators and faculty than for students.

Although this plan has been in development since last October, there is still room for change and improvement. Throughout December, the plan will be reviewed by the Steering Committee and the Advisory Committee, and it will be the topic of discussion in three meetings with the city of Athens, Ohio University students and faculty.

Moving forward, the plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees in January, and final documentation and integration will occur up until March. In March, the plan will be finalized and rolled out.

“It’s your plan,” Bolin said. “I just get to facilitate it for you. It’s your campus.”

Senate also voted on several issues, including appointing Najah Brown as the delegate for the Minority Affairs Committee and funding the International Dinner, sponsored by the International Student Union.

One resolution Senate debated asked for funding for three students to attend the Women’s Affairs Conference in Wisconsin next Wednesday. It passed 36 to 17.

Senate members were excited that students would gain insight into creating future women’s affairs programs at Ohio University but were concerned the issue would take up approximately 20 percent of the senate’s budget.

The issue ended up passing after students who would be attending the conference said they would not go if they had to fund the trip themselves, even partially.

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