Friday January 22, 1999
Technique - The South's Liveliest College NewspaperNews

Master Plan sets goals for future

Update - The Master Plan


The construction at Atlantic and Ferst is one step towards fulfilling the goals of the Master Plan, which also calls for moving vehicular traffic outside the Ferst Dr. perimeter.

By Chris Baucom News Staff

With all the construction taking place on campus, many are wondering what the future holds for Georgia Tech. The Campus Master Plan, which was completed last year, will ensure that new development occurs in an organized manner consistent with the Institute's long term goals as defined in the Strategic Plan. Some general goals of the Master Plan are to provide more green space by way of formal signature areas, informal campus spaces, and informal recreation fields. A pedestrian campus will be created through the elimination of automobile traffic in the academic core.

"We want to maximize, expand, and create an awesome learning community for both students and faculty," said Steve Slawsky, the Undergraduate Student Representative to the Master Plan Implementation Committee. Issues of safety are also a high priority, and "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design" principles will be incorporated into future projects.

The Hightower Textile Engineering building will be demolished and replaced with green space, thus making Tech Plaza "the signature campus open space envisioned by the campus community." A new building will be built in the Hightower parking lot adjacent to the Library, which will be known as the Undergraduate Learning Center. The Learning Center will house offices for student organizations, meeting rooms, study areas, lounges, and possibly even a late-night snack bar.

Since students have only ten minutes between classes, careful consideration is being given to the placement of new buildings. Academic sectors will be created so that students have most of their classes all within the same general area.

Atlantic Drive will be closed to traffic and converted into a pedestrian walkway, which will extend from Tenth Street to the revamped Tech Plaza. This area will be the center of the academic core, and several new buildings are planned to the north of Ferst Drive. More green space will also be formed in the area bound by the Library, Architecture Building, and the Rich building.

Long-term plans include the removal of the central receiving building and the electrical substation at the corner of Hemphill and Ferst in order to expand the Burger Bowl. The area south of Center Street Apartments will eventually be converted to recreation fields after the removal of the Ajax and Beringause buildings and their associated parking lots.

Since hundreds of parking spaces will be eliminated either though the closure of streets or the demolition of surface parking lots, several new parking decks are included in the Master Plan. Two new decks are planned south of Tenth Street between State Street and Atlantic Drive, one of which will be built within the next year. An addition is proposed to the Student Center parking deck, and parking facilities will be included in the design of SAC II. Peters Parking Deck will eventually be destroyed and replaced by green space, but not before the completion of a new five-level deck on Bobby Dodd Way behind the North Stands of the stadium to accommodate the parking needs of East Campus residents. A deck will also be built on west campus over the Woodruff surface lot. The new parking decks, which will be designed with security as a top priority, will house parking offices, police kiosks, and other non-parking endeavors in an attempt to increase activity and visibility in the area.

The Master Plan features over 200 recommendations for campus growth and improvement. "Even though we have these general recommendations, they will always be modified and reprioritized again and again," said Slawsky. "The Campus Master Plan is complete, and it was a major milestone. Now the focus has shifted towards implementation, but the Master Plan is a living document and will continually be updated."

For student opinions on Tech's future, turn to the recap of the weekly SGA Issues survey on page 6.