Work is underway at Centre College to create a new campus master plan, a comprehensive effort being undertaken in partnership with Hastings+Chivetta, a St. Louis-based architectural, planning and engineering firm.
Part of Centre’s on-going strategic planning process, the new campus master plan will provide a flexible guide to future building and site improvement decisions for the now nearly 200-year-old national liberal arts college that celebrates its bicentennial in 2019.
Directed by Brian Hutzley, Centre’s new CFO, vice president and treasurer, and Chief Planning Officer Patrick Noltemeyer, the project is intended to be a comprehensive blueprint for the College’s future over the coming years and decades.
According to Noltemeyer, once complete, the campus master plan “will be able to adapt to changes in a variety of factors, while addressing implications of strategic, economic and physical planning priorities and preserving future options.”
Founded in 1960, Hastings+Chivetta (H+C) brings more than a half-century of experience to this project and was selected as part of a rigorous request for proposal, or RFP, process.
While Centre has worked with H+C on numerous building projects dating back to 2003—part of more than $100 million in capital improvements at the College since then—this partnership will expand that relationship.
“Our decision was based on a strong trust established over the years,” President John A. Roush said of H+C, “as well as their strong performance with prior campus projects.” Roush has also asked Chris Chivetta, president and principal-in-charge, to include members of his firm “who are unfamiliar with Centre and might be engaged to bring a fresh set of eyes to the project.”
The firm selection culminated months of campus discussion that began in March 2017 with several campus-wide forums that solicited feedback from students, faculty, and staff. Conversations focused on several major themes and commonalities, including community, flexibility, safety and sustainability.
In addition to the direction of Hutzley and Noltemeyer, the project is being shepherded by the College’s Space Committee, in consultation with Centre’s senior staff. A number of faculty and staff participated in the first campus workshop with H+C this July, honing the ideas presented in the campus open forums.
Work will continue into the beginning of the new academic year, which begins in late August, with a preliminary presentation given to the Centre College board of trustees in October at its fall meeting.
Now in his 20th year at Centre, Roush is excited about how the master plan will position the College to build on its success over the past decades and carry this momentum forward.
Progress includes not just significant capital improvements but measured growth that has increased overall enrollment from 1,001 when Roush arrived in 1998 to an anticipated opening enrollment this year of 1,450, strengthening the academic profile and diversity in the process.
“I am confident,” Roush said, “that Hastings+Chivetta, with the leadership of our board of trustees and the input and support of our faculty, staff, students and community, will work with us to create a collaborative vision for Centre’s future of which we can all be proud.”
by Michael Strysick
August 8, 2017