UCC Mainstream Online

Updated Master Plan for Campus Development

Illustration provided by UCC
A map of UCC showing potential changes to the campus. The 2014 updated Master Plan is reinforced by previous planning and current feedback of what is important to the UCC community.

The future of UCC is in the process of changing. Last June the college’s Master Plan was updated from the 2008 version to reflect a change in UCC’s future development goals. The master plan reflects possible future changes in campus development, facilities and academic goals. UCC’s updated plan focuses mainly on optimizing the spaces already available on campus.
“Usually a master plan will run 10 to 20 years,” Jess Miller, director of Facilities and Special Events, said.
The 2008 Master Plan was developed by Opsis Architecture.
“The Master Plan in 2008 was really developed for new buildings, new academic structures we were going to need to have, [such as] student housing, Industrial Technology, Allied Health and Science [building], a new two story student services center. We had a lot of big ideas for the whole campus. We have 100 acres here and we don’t use a lot of it. We use half of it or about 60 percent of it,” Miller said.
For more information on the Allied Health and Science Building, see Mainstream’s October 2014 UCC Legacy story.
According to Miller, when UCC President Joe Olson started out he looked at the 2008 Master Plan and decided it was no longer in UCC’s interest to pursue.
“You know, it’s not really realistic in this economy and environment that we’re going to be able to accomplish all of these new buildings. So, let’s redo our Master Plan and let’s have a new architect team come in and really look at the facilities we have and optimize the usage of those facilities,” Miller said.
In fall 2013, UCC hired Mahlum Architects to create an updated Master Plan. Their attention was more focused on utilizing the space available in more efficient ways in order to better accommodate the students’ needs.
The Steering committee assessed the campus’s infrastructure and found a majority of the buildings on campus are close to 50 years old.
“Despite diligent and continued maintenance, investment may be needed to extend [the] life of these buildings,” the updated Umpqua Community College Master Plan Update report, says.
“When Mahlum came in they came up with some really intriguing ideas that really marry nicely to the old master plan,” Miller said.
One of the planned changes is to renovate the buildings vacated by the programs moving up to the Allied Health and Sciences and the Industrial Arts buildings. Once the Allied Health and Sciences Building is available for occupancy, one example of a possible renovation would be adding a pass through at the center of the Science building’s staff wing.
“We would remove the offices [directly in front of the existing entrance] and add glass windows and doors to create direct access to the campus’ green,” Miller said. In addition this newly opened up area could be used by students to do their homework or just hanging out to relax.
Some may be wary of this idea taking away offices. Miller continued, “Even though offices are a scarce commodity we will be able to obtain more offices from the back fill of the new building.”
Miller also cautioned that the possible alterations to the campus are not set in stone and will first be further developed by architects. Miller emphasized, “We would not reduce the number of offices we have.”
The $8 legacy fee to be implemented starting summer term will be used to finance these renovations to the campus.
“Given the economy and how it is, and being a low income student, anything that incurs more cost to us that is not necessary for the school to function, I would be opposed to,” Jason Bamburg, UCC student, said.
Miller added, “Some students really embrace and understand the legacy fee, and some students are against it and they have their reasons too. The reality of it is that we are really behind the times here. And most schools do that [assess student fees for improving the school]. That’s the way they grow, they improve, that’s the way they can focus on raising funds for specific things like new buildings. The board has not wanted to assess those kinds of things on the students. But it has gotten to a point where, for a minimal fee, we can really do some great things with the campus. And this is kind of serving the needs of Douglas County in order to make that happen,” Miller said.
One area of concern to some students is what will happen if certain classes are dropped because of the changes occurring. According to Miller, it is the practice of UCC to keep a class until those who have started a degree are able to finish their programs.
Overall, if the objectives of the Master Plan are met, then in ten years or so residents of Douglas County may be amazed by what has been accomplished here at UCC to modernize the college’s campus.
The updated Master Plan is available on the college website under the president’s office page; the institutional research link.