New Plan Hints Big Changes In Store for Marshall Campus - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

New Plan Hints Big Changes In Store for Marshall Campus

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • West Virginia University Children's Hospital Breaks Ground on New Expansion

    West Virginia University Children's Hospital Breaks Ground on New Expansion

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-09-16 04:00:32 GMT
    Monday marked the new beginning for the West Virginia University Children's Hospital. The hospital is expanding its walls to meet the growing needs of the community.
    Monday marked the new beginning for the West Virginia University Children's Hospital. The hospital is expanding its walls to meet the growing needs of the community.
  • Marion County Residents Gather To Meet The Candidates

    Marion County Residents Gather To Meet The Candidates

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:45:34 GMT
    Meet The Candidate ForumMeet The Candidate Forum
    Marion County residents were able to meet the candidates Monday night and get to hear from Fairmont City Council.
    Marion County residents were able to meet the candidates Monday night and get to hear from Fairmont City Council.
  • WVU Students Honor Slain Journalists With Vigil

    WVU Students Honor Slain Journalists With Vigil

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:40:26 GMT
    The militant group ISIS has beheaded four Western hostages, two from the United States and two from Britain. Monday night, WVU's Muslim Association held a vigil for one of the murdered American journalist.
    The militant group ISIS has beheaded four Western hostages, two from the United States and two from Britain. Monday night, WVU's Muslim Association held a vigil for one of the murdered American journalist.
  • EducationMore>>

  • Marshall University pilots ‘global' medical program

    Marshall University pilots ‘global' medical program

    Monday, September 15 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-09-15 19:41:58 GMT
    With the start of a new program at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine comes the beginning of a new “global” medical emphasis.
    With the start of a new program at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine comes the beginning of a new “global” medical emphasis.
  • WLU offers new masters degree

    WLU offers new masters degree

    Sunday, September 14 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-09-14 18:00:14 GMT
    At West Liberty University, planning makes perfect — three years, to be exact in this case. After planning and perfecting the curriculum, a master of professional studies degree is now available at WLU.
    At West Liberty University, planning makes perfect — three years, to be exact in this case. After planning and perfecting the curriculum, a master of professional studies degree is now available at WLU.

  • Charles Town teacher to build school

    Charles Town teacher to build school

    Saturday, September 13 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-09-13 12:00:13 GMT
    Nancy SturmNancy Sturm
    Charles Town resident Nancy Sturm has devoted her life to learning.
    Charles Town resident Nancy Sturm has devoted her life to learning.

By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

HUNTINGTON – Additions to Marshall University's Memorial Student Center and Twin Towers dormitory, renovations to a half dozen other buildings and the demolition of still others are suggested in the preliminary version of a new 10-year campus master plan now being drafted.

The plan also envisions changes to the traffic patterns for 3rd and 5th avenues, the east-west thoroughfares that bracket the campus.

Required by the state Higher Education Policy Commission, the 10-year plan must be completed and submitted to the commission for its approval by the end of 2013. The last such plan was put in place in 2003. Work on the new plan began in November, and the project is said to be at about the mid-point.

Marshall Chief of Staff Matt Turner emphasized that the newly released preliminary version of the plan is very much a "work in progress and subject to change as we sort through the process."

The plan is being done for Marshall by a consortium of consultants, headed by SmithGroup JJR of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Mary L. Jukuri, a campus planner with SmithGroup, told an April 17 briefing on the preliminary plan that MU's future needs are seen to be additional classrooms and research labs, a Memorial Student Center expansion, assembly and exhibit space, additional recreation space, an outdoor track and baseball stadium and additional residence halls "for replacement and future growth."

The preliminary plan suggests that MU's three oldest dormitories, Hodges Hall, Holderby Hall and Laidley Hall, be demolished. Hodges, Jukuri noted, is vacant and already slated for demolition later this year. The dorm rooms lost as a result of the demolitions could be replaced with the construction of additional rooms at Twin Towers.

There's already a need for additional space and facilities at the Memorial Student Center, Jukuri said, and that need can only increase as the university's enrollment grows.

Noting that neither 3rd nor 5th avenues are currently carrying traffic at their full capacity, planners may recommend reducing each to three lanes rather than four. The planning team noted that pedestrians often find it difficult to cross the two avenues, and removing one lane would provide room for infrastructure improvements in the name of safety. 

Students and campus visitors who complain about never being able to find a campus parking spot will find little to cheer about in the preliminary plan. Marshall's current 4,300 parking spaces are more than adequate for a school its size, Jukuri said, noting that not all the current lots and garages are being fully utilized. Increased utilization might be obtained from revising the way parking is regulated, she said.

The planners termed current bus service inconvenient, with long wait times between buses, and indicated they have met with the Tri-State Transit Authority to discuss possible route and scheduling changes.

Jukuri praised the appearance of the core campus as "iconic" and "high quality" but said she and the other members of the team see an opportunity for landscape improvement at the east end of the campus.

When completed the plan will address not only the future needs of the university's Huntington campus but also its South Charleston campus and its Mid-Ohio Valley and Teays Valley centers.