Gavin Young
KU Office of Public Affairs

University to unveil comprehensive 2014–2024 Campus Master Plan

Wed, 03/12/2014

LAWRENCEAfter a year of planning and engagement with the campus and Lawrence communities, the University of Kansas is ready to unveil a 10-year vision for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. The 2014–2024 KU Campus Master Plan will be presented to the Kansas Board of Regents and to the KU and Lawrence communities this week.

An open forum will be 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Friday, March 14, at The Commons in Spooner Hall for the official campus presentation of the plan. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will deliver brief remarks at 9 a.m. The plan will also be presented to the Board of Regents during their meeting today, March 12, by Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor.

“Our campus master plan is more than a list of maps or buildings,” Gray-Little said. “It is the physical embodiment of our aspirations as the state’s flagship university. We’ve created a plan that aligns with our values, principles and our goals. It meets the challenges facing a modern research university, and it positions us to fulfill our mission of educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.”

Gray-Little launched the development of the campus master plan in a message to campus in February 2013. Over the past 13 months, hundreds of individuals have engaged in meetings, focus groups, interviews and charrettes as part of the planning process. A series of open forums held both on and off campus have been used to present information during the process.

“This master plan is KU’s most comprehensive one to date,” Vitter said. “Our campus master plan has been developed with a framework that allows it to serve as a living plan, to be revisited in the future and adjusted as needed, rather than repeating the entire planning process. We’ve achieved that level of flexibility by focusing upon planning principles and design drivers rather than physical structures. Our planning principles embody both the historic excellence of KU and our ambitions for the future — creating a direct connection between the plan’s designs for physical growth and Bold Aspirations, KU’s five-year strategic plan.”

Information at Friday's forum will be presented around the three physical concepts proposed by the campus master plan — Student Success, Campus Life; Academic Communities; and Sustainable Land Use & Growth Patterns. Members of the university’s design team will be available, along with members of the executive and steering committees.

An executive summary of the campus master plan will be available at the forum. The complete campus master plan will be available later in the spring. The final document will include proposals and extensive analysis and reports on space and classroom utilization, historic patterns and resources, land use, program accommodation, sustainability, coordination with the local community, and other areas.

Including the master plan of George Kessler and Henry Wright in 1904, the university has undertaken a comprehensive planning process only five times, most recently when the previous plan was completed in 1997. KU has contracted with Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Co. to provide a broad range of services in developing the new plan.

Earlier open forums were February, April and October. At the first round of open forums, KU staff and consultants made presentations and had conversations about the data collection phase. At the second round of open forums, the focus was on the analysis and options phase. At the third round of open forums, the focus was on refining concepts.

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Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (, associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.

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