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In the mid-90s Colorado College prepared a Campus Master Plan1 (CMP) that was facilitated by the architectural firm Thompson & Rose. The development of the Campus Master Plan included an extensive internal self-examination that reviewed academic, student life, athletic, and business needs of the campus. The Campus Master Plan provides guidance in three ten-year phases.

After setting out principles, the Campus Master Plan provides recommendations for academic facilities, student life facilities, athletic facilities, administrative and support services, and circulation. The Campus Master Plan recommends specific facilities additions and renovations for each of the programmatic areas in each of the three ten-year phases of the plan. While not directly addressing land acquisition needs the Campus Master Plan, by inference, identifies these needs through the implication of locations proposed for certain facilities. The Campus Master Plan also provides costs estimates for the facilities, landscaping, and circulation improvements.

Since acceptance of the Plan in 1995 the college has moved forward to implement the first ten-year phase of the Campus Master Plan. For example, with guidance from the Campus Master Plan several of the recommended new facilities and renovations/ additions became a part of the college’s capital campaign, development of two of three blocks on the east campus has been completed, construction of a new housing complex has been completed, construction of a new science building has been completed, and a Design Review Board has been created with subsequent development of open space guidelines and standards.

In some cases the Campus Master Plan was followed very closely, while in other cases, legal, programmatic, physical, or financial constraints required deviating from strict interpretation of the Campus Master Plan. Also, nine years have passed since completion of the Campus Master Plan and significant new issues have arisen which affect the relevance of the Campus Master Plan in today’s environment. In just another year the Campus Master Plan will be a decade old.

While the Campus Master Plan did provide cost estimates for major portions of the plan, a full financial plan was not developed. In addition, the Campus Master Plan focused mostly on necessary changes and additions based on the programmatic needs of the campus and did not integrate such issues as capital renewal, deferred maintenance, regulatory issues, and other needs driven by both internal and external forces.

Finally, while the Campus Master Plan did indirectly identify land acquisition needs for specific projects, it remains mostly inward focused. It does not address campus expansion or neighborhood impact as an individual strategic topic. For example, there is limited or no discussion of surrounding zoning issues, building stock, land suitability, or real estate market issues.

In 2003 President Celeste asked the campus to participate in a strategic planning process to identify and confirm the strategic direction of the College. This “road mapping” process identified a number of pedagogical, research and service initiatives as strategically important to the College. One of these initiatives is to integrate the planning processes for academic programs, capital development and financial planning into a cohesive long range development plan. In 2004 the Board of Trustees approved moving forward with a long range development planning process.

 


1. “Recapturing the Commons – The Colorado College Campus Master Plan: A Vision Through the Year 2025”, Thompson and Rose Architects, November, 1995