Boise State administrators and Ayers Saint Gross (ASG) representatives are planning for university growth.
Future buildings, old buildings, green space, road ways, bike paths, future land acquisition and space purposes were a few of the topics addressed.
Carolyn Krall, senior associate of ASG, broke down the physicality of future expansions into three areas (precients) of development: expansion, Greenbelt and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Athletics.
On April 10, ASG hosted three campus master plan update meetings for faculty, staff, students and the community, faculty, and staff about the physical plans for Boise State’s expansion and how they align with the strategic vision of the university.
“Boise State University aspires to be a research university known for the finest undergraduate education in the region, and outstanding research and graduate programs,” the vision statement said. “With its exceptional faculty, staff and student body, and its location in the heart of a thriving metropolitan area, the university will be viewed as an engine that drives the Idaho economy, providing significant return on public investment.”
Krall also spoke about three phases in which these precincts might experience development and change.
Phase one, happening over the next five to 10 years, primarily concerns present and future buildings moving forward.
Krall highlighted student and faculty feedback incorporated into the design draft of the master plan. Two student suggestions involved the removal of the old business building and the red statue Kaikoo (which has already been removed) to open up space in the quad.
“Once students commented about being unhappy with the red sculpture, the steel sculpture which we weren’t fans of either—and that actually resulted in it being gone,” Krall said. “I think that represents the extent to which a student can say, ‘this is an issue; I’m not crazy about this’ and it goes all the way to the top. The president says ‘Yeah I think that’s a good idea. I think that should be out of here.’”
Carl Breidembach, freshman civil engineering major, disagreed with the intent to demolish the old business building.
“I didn’t like the plan to demolish the (old business building) because that seems like a borderline historic building on our campus,. To remove one historic building to better show off our asymmetrical administration building doesn’t seem like the best idea,” Breidembach said.
One concern voiced at both forums was about the homes and people living on the expansion precinct land. While Krall assured these residents were aware of the plans and were involved, Hailey Weatherby, ASBSU secretary of student organization affairs, still feels strong concern.
“My biggest concern is just the people that live in this area, that really appreciate living near campus, and any transitions they have to make,” Weatherby said. “They need to have a place near where they live now because… if they’re dislocated to a place they can’t afford or a place that is not near where they work or where their life currently is, that is going to negatively affect the university and, I think, not align with our desires as a university, our shared values.”
These plans still have to be presented to the State Board of Education and other agencies for approval, and the plan will have to be updated years after as these developments effect new changes.