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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW unveils Master Plan

[media-credit name=’DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]masterplan_dm_416[/media-credit]University of Wisconsin officials unveiled the final plan for a campus development project to renovate the campus over the next 20 years Wednesday.

The four-phase plan focuses on developing existing campus space, constructing and protecting open space, establishing a better transport and utility system and connecting all areas of campus.

Chancellor John D. Wiley said he had "a pride about the plan."


"Future generations will look back and have iconic images about this campus," he said.

Associate Vice Chancellor Alan Fish presented the Campus Master Plan at a public meeting in the Health Sciences and Learning Center.

According to Fish, the process of the plan's development included more than 200 meetings over the last year and a half.

The meetings allowed those involved to "survey concerns" and hear ideas from everyone involved.

"The process has been as critical as the plan," he said. "We spent a tremendous time talking to every interested party."

Fish said the university now needs "21st-century space" and should best utilize the three miles of land by Lake Mendota.

"[UW's campus is] unprecedented in its uniqueness," he said. "We need to turn around and take that setting better than we used to."

The committee based some ideas on a master plan designed in 1908, which proposed construction of an entire mall on Linden Drive that has never been put into effect.

The current master plan proposes to demolish Van Hise Hall and open up the space for the mall down Linden Drive.

Fish also addressed the planning committee's concerns of heavy traffic — 30,000 to 40,000 cars daily — on Johnson Street and University Avenue, which he called a "huge gash" dividing the campus.

The university plans to install mid-block lights, such as the current streetlight in front of the Gordon Commons dining area, which will help diffuse pedestrian traffic.

In addition, the plan proposes to create a commuter rail system and to possibly join a potential city project to establish a trolley system.

"The transportation improvements are a huge part of our plan," he said. "We want to make the campus more pedestrian-friendly."

Among other new building constructions and additions, the plan provides construction for a new Lakeshore residence hall to accommodate the growing demand of first-year students.

Fish said the idea is to "carve out our niche for first-year students" and increase the population on the Lakeshore area.

Other plans for new residence halls on Dayton Street and Park Street are already in effect, and the plan will turn Ogg Hall — set to be torn down this summer — into a park.

The university wants to finish construction as early as 2010 on the Dayton Street and Park Street residence halls and build an east campus mall that would run from Lake Mendota to just north of Regent Street.

Fish said the plan would make the campus more aesthetically appealing, which would distinguish the UW campus.

"We should define ourselves within the community," he said.

Program and plan analyst Gwen Drury expressed her enthusiasm about the plan and said she was fortunate to have been involved.

As a current student and former representative of the UW Associated Students of Madison planning committee, Drury felt the master plan committee kept students' best interests in mind.

"Students experience the campus more than the faculty," she said. "The committee stayed true the entire time to support the students."

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