Master Plan nears final stages preceding public presentation

The renovation and expansion of Milne Library are included in the Facilities Master Plan, a 15-year strategy developed by JMZ Architects to guide campus-wide capital improvement projects.

Later this semester, the plan will be presented in full form to an advisory committee, a steering committee and ultimately the campus community.

"Our library is undersized for the number of students we have and the type of uses we want to use it for," said Kenneth Levison, vice president for administration and finance. "This plan will recommend an addition to the library that will essentially replace Blake Hall, and will be a very exciting kind of an addition to campus. It will become a focal point … of the academic center of the campus."

The Master Plan suggests that the renovation take place in two stages so that students can continue to have access to the library throughout the construction process. The plan is still in its early stages, though, and no specifics have been decided upon.

"We don't know exactly what it will look like," Levison said. "They put a concept in there, but it's just a concept at this point – not the design."

While designing the Master Plan, the facility planners considered the current space on campus and assessed how well the school is using it. They also took into account projections of enrollment and the student-faculty ratio. The resulting list of recommended projects is estimated to bear a total cost of $125 – 150 million.

"The reality is that we get a certain amount of capital money each year which is approved by the legislature," Levison said. "When things actually happen will depend upon whether or not the legislature … agrees to another five-year capital program."

According to Levison, Milne's renovation is recommended to take place in the first five-year capital program, estimated to begin in 2013.

In addition to the plans for Milne Library, the Master Plan will include recommendations for restorations in other academic buildings across campus.

"There's a lot that needs to be done to bring the campus into the 21st century," Levison said. We need "[a plan] that creates learning spaces that reflect the new ways of teaching and technology to create informal spaces where students can meet and collaborate and interact with faculty. All of that should be part of what Geneseo becomes and that's what this plan is looking at."

Although the plan has been completed, it will be subject to changes throughout its implementation.

The facility planners will present the Master Plan to the steering committee and the college cabinet next month.

"At that point, if it's accepted … there will be presentations for the campus and multiple presentations for the wider community, so that people can get an idea of what's been suggested and what things might look like going forward," Levison said.