Master Plan Enhances Physical Campus, Focuses on Student Experience
Valparaiso University unveiled the Campus Master Plan, a map that will guide ongoing change across campus for the coming decades, during special sessions to the campus and greater Valparaiso community on Sept. 20 at the Harre Union ballrooms.
The Master Plan implements several goals of the Strategic Plan, including enrollment growth, student experience, innovation, and engagement. The Master Plan ensures that the buildings and grounds support Valpo’s reputation as a premier institution of Lutheran higher education.
“We come to the Valparaiso University Campus Master Plan expecting to look into the future,” President Mark Heckler said. “Area by area, the campus of tomorrow unfolds before us. New buildings. Redesigned landscape. Revitalized neighborhoods. And yet, a deeper look reveals far more.
“We discover that the plan also serves as a bridge between the past and the future. We see the University’s long-held vision and values come to life in bricks and mortar, steel and glass, in open spaces and walkways.”
The Campus Master Plan addresses the University’s goal of transforming the way students comprehend and utilize science and scientific approach. The Master Plan envisions the creation of a science and education village, a cluster of buildings that includes Gellersen Center with the Fites Innovation Center and James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Facility, Kallay-Christopher Hall, Urschel Hall, and three new buildings for biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and education.
The Master Plan redefines the campus core, the heart of campus where the academic, the social, and the spiritual cross – the space between the Chapel of the Resurrection, the Harre Union, and the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources. The Master Plan expands this core open space, better defining it and improving its aesthetics and function.
The University will continue to accelerate the ongoing evolution toward a pedestrian-focused campus. Walking and biking the campus will be made easier, while still providing vehicle parking and drop-off points. A pedestrian spine, a wide path that links every major building form the Law School to the science and education village, is envisioned.
Transforming residential life is another major component of the Master Plan. Housing choices will expand, and two suite-style residence halls are included in the plan. Existing residence halls will be incrementally reconstructed. The plan envisions offering Greek housing sites off-campus along Union Street near campus to provide for current housing needs and allow for expansion.
The Master Plan calls for a wholesale re-evaluation of the campus’ athletics and recreation facilities. The purchase of the Porter Hospital site provides an opportunity to consolidate, expand, and improve existing facilities anchored by the Athletics-Recreation Center.
The Master Plan was developed after nearly two years of input from the Board of Directors, faculty, staff, students, alumni, members of the greater Valparaiso community, and friends. The Master Plan Task Force is co-chaired by Janet Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, and Bonnie Hunter, vice president for Student Affairs.
About Valparaiso University
Valparaiso University is a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master’s-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. Valparaiso University offers 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a School of Law and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Education Division. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness, and dedication to serving others.