Branden del Rio
The University Board of Trustees recently approved the next phase of La Verne’s Master Plan for Campus Development.
The new phase includes a new dorm facility, a new parking facility, new sports facilities on what is known as Campus West and the reconstruction of Ortmayer Stadium.
Construction of the new dorms is slated to begin during the spring semester. It will be constructed on D Street between First and Second streets.
This space chosen is the former site of the tennis courts and is currently a parking lot.
The new residence hall will have the capacity to house approximately 380 students and will include retail space, such as a coffee shop, which will be open to the public and a fitness facility for student use on the first floor.
Consequently, the Stu-Han residence hall will be demolished and turned into a parking structure after the new dormitories are opened.
The new parking facility is expected to accommodate 300 to 400 cars.
But some students are wondering where they will park in the time between construction on Lot F and the completion of the Stu-Han parking lot.
“We are currently negotiating with Fairplex to see if we can work out a deal to use the part of their parking lot closest to campus and have a shuttle run from there for students to use,” Greg Dewey, interim provost, said.
According to the plan Brandt Hall may remain a residence hall for a few years. But eventually it will no longer house students but instead become offices for faculty and administration.
Dewey added that if the University has large enrollment similar to this year we will continue to use part of the Sheraton Hotel as a residence hall.
The new residence halls will require the removal of the Ben Hines baseball field. The team will use the field until the season is over. After that the field will be demolished and replaced by a new field on the Campus West property located south of Arrow Highway and east of Wheeler Avenue.
Campus West will also include a softball field and practice space for our soccer teams.
The new Campus West facilities are slated to be completed in Dec. 2013.
Until then baseball will play at another location which has yet to be settled on.
Dewey also said that the University would like to close 1st street and “rotate” the stadi
um in the space where 1st street currently runs around campus. However, this plan requires city approval which has not been acquired yet.
Ortmayer Stadium is also expecting some changes. Construction will begin after the next year’s football season and is likely to complete by 2012, according to the plan.
“In terms of updating the track and football fields we are tremendously excited for that,” head football coach Andrew Ankeny said. “We hope to have one of the best small college venues around.”
The plan also calls for the formation of a representative advisory committee of MSS faculty, including professors, coaches and administrators to oversee the construction of the new athletic facilities.
The Board of Trustees also assured that the namesakes of the facilities – Ben Hines, Nancy Blickenstaff and the Studebaker and Hanawalt families – will be properly honored with the new facilities.
Another part of the plan included that the Provost’s Office begins a needs assessment for new and additional academic facilities as part of the continuing capital projects plan. A committee has already been assembled to begin the assessment, Dewey said.
“I have organized a committee of faculty and we’re looking into issues and what should be the nature of the building. Issues such as what is the perfect balance between laboratory and class space,” Dewey said.
Branden del Rio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.