This campus master plan update is part of our recent long-range planning activities at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. There are two companion documents. One of them presents the University’s strategic plan. The other focuses on the University District, the part of the city immediately surrounding the campus, and describes the partnerships and plans for revitalizing it.
The planning reflected in this document manifests our desire to be good stewards of the small part of the planet the University occupies. Beyond our desire to be good stewards, there are two important reasons for UALR to engage in campus master planning.
First, for a university located in the heart of a cityâ€”and very glad to be hereâ€”land for outward expansion of the campus will always be limited. Therefore, we need to make optimum use of the land presently available.
Second, today’s decisions on the location of additional buildings and facilities will limit the choices of those leading the University tomorrow. For example, a campus parking deck, wherever placed, will strongly influence the use of the area around it indefinitely. Therefore, for the sake of those leading the University tomorrow, we should endeavor to take an informed and long view today.
The University has been greatly assisted by the nationally recognized firm of Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC, which worked in partnership with the excellent Little Rock firm of Witsell Evans & Rasco.
Here is only a sample of outcomes:
- Early and very helpful guidance regarding the location of the additional student residences now being built.
- Broader thinking about the campus as integral with the surrounding neighborhood.
- Recognition of the potential of Coleman Creek as a signature green space throughout the length of the campus.
- Early help in thinking about redevelopment of the recently acquired 22.5 acres on the south end of campus occupied by the University Plaza Shopping Center.
- An informed sense of the capacity of the current campus to support a significantly larger student body.
The reader will see much more of benefit in the pages that follow. Indeed the reader will see a vision for the further development of the UALR campus that is well conceived and quite exciting to contemplate, a vision worthy of persistent effort to reach.
This campus master plan represents good thinking in 2005 about future physical growth and development of the UALR campus, but it should not be taken as the last word or as the final plan governing all decisions through the years ahead. It should instead be taken as a valuable guide book that will inform, but not dictate, future choices as the University marches on into its future.
This planning project was made possible by generous support from the George W. Donaghey Foundation, which is gratefully acknowledged. I would like to thank all of my on-campus colleagues and all UALR students who offered ideas, information, and reactions during the course of the planning study. In particular, I must acknowledge with great appreciation the leadership role of Cindy Milazzo, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities and Services, who chaired the Master Plan Update Committee, and the contributions of all of the enthusiastic and talented faculty and staff members who constituted the committee (listed elsewhere).
All of us on campus express our gratitude to the many off-campus participants who took part in this project and who in so many other ways contribute day after day to the success of the University.
Joel E. Anderson