Strategy One

Create and Implement a Comprehensive, Dynamic Campus Master Plan

An attractive, well-maintained campus, both facilities and grounds, is an essential component of a progressive, successful university. With the exception of perhaps the university’s webpages, the campus is the initial element of the university that visitors, including prospective students and their families, and employees will see when visiting and evaluating the university. A sloppy, unkempt, and inadequately maintained campus leaves a poor first impression on visitors and may also foster feelings of discontent and dissatisfaction in employees and students.

The need for campus beautification, including construction of new buildings and renovations to other buildings, has been an ongoing area of concern for Henderson for a number of years. Attractive and well- maintained grounds and buildings are more or less standard components of many other, often directly competitive, universities across the state and region. At a minimum, an attractive and properly maintained campus provides the following benefits to the university:

  • Functions as a recruiting tool.
  • Promotes and enhances the university’s image. An attractive and properly maintained campus promotes a continual, long-term perception that the university is concerned about quality. People often associate the look of the facilities and grounds with the quality of the university as a whole, including its academic programs.
  • Allows for an enjoyable and comfortable environment for employees, students, and visitors.
  • Affords functionality and safety for employees and students.
  • Provides a path to promote and achieve sustainability.

A comprehensive, dynamic campus master plan which includes routine assessment/evaluation, maintenance, and improvements of campus facilities and grounds must be developed and continually implemented. A component of this plan must include effective methods for the acquisition of the necessary resources, monetary and other (equipment, materials, and personnel), that are required for successful, long-term development of a well-maintained and attractive campus. Effort also should be made to preserve the historically- and traditionally-significant aspects of the current campus buildings and grounds.

The Henderson Campus Master Plan will address where the Henderson campus can provide facilities and grounds necessary to achieve its visionary enrollment goal by 2020. In fact, the Campus Master Plan will identify campus development potential that will exceed the demands of 2020. Not only will the envisioned improvements advance the goals of the strategic plan, but they will also enhance the experience of students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campus.

The phasing and implementation of the Campus Master Plan will be realized through the completion of individual projects. The implementation of the Campus Master Plan will be guided by the university administration, a Campus Planning and Facilities Committee, and a variety of campus advisory committees to include the Faculty Senate Buildings and Grounds Committee, Landscape Plan Committee, and others as needed.

Action and Elements

  1. In July 2014, hire a firm to develop and implement a campus master plan. This firm will work with an appointed Master Plan Committee with representation from university administration, a Campus Planning and Facilities Committee (to be formed), and a variety of campus advisory committees to include the Faculty Senate Buildings and Grounds Committee, Landscape Plan Committee, and others as needed.
    • Incorporate sustainability into planning processes.
    • Incorporate accessibility into planning processes.
    • Develop a visual identity by considering Henderson’s traditional design elements in both new construction and renovation.
    • Plan for optimal use of university properties adjacent to campus.
    • Evaluate circulation routes to improve safety and attractiveness for both pedestrian and motorized transit.
    • Complete initial version of plan by December 2014.
  2. Construct new buildings.
    • Construct new student residence facilities that will accommodate 540 students.
      • Obtain additional financing if necessary to complete project.
      • June 2014 – Begin construction.
      • Fall 2015 – Occupancy.
    • Assess and prioritize new construction needs, including a convocation/events center, a performing arts center, a school of business building, and a library.
  3. Renovate existing buildings.
    • Incorporate a communal area in each building to promote intellectual and social collaboration.
    • Improve use of existing space and technology.
    • Address grime and wear uses promptly.
  4. Develop and implement a comprehensive landscape design plan.
    • In July 2014, hire a landscape architect to serve on a Landscape Plan committee, which shall include the grounds supervisor and other campus personnel (resident botanist, member of Sustainability Committee, etc.), who will also serve on the Master Plan committee.
    • Incorporate sustainable materials and methods into all aspects of the Landscape Plan.
    • Use plants, including native species, which are adapted for this climate and location, requiring minimal care and maintenance once established and having fewer problems with disease and environmental stress than less well-adapted species.
    • Use existing materials when possible (compost, etc.)
    • Install watering systems.
    • Adequately fund landscaping installation and maintenance.
    • Integrate campus landscaping into academic enrichment; make Henderson’s grounds a learning experience.
      • Enhance the campus arboretum and other selected landscape areas by placing permanent, aesthetically pleasing identification and informational labels/plaques on or at trees and shrubs.
      • Create attractive gathering areas as an integrated aspect of the landscape, including benches for seating and walkways for easy access to and enjoyment of landscaped areas.
    • Properly maintain campus landscaping and overall appearance.
      • Hire, train, and monitor a grounds crew with a sufficient number of personnel to properly maintain campus landscaping and grounds.
      • Develop a detailed, well-envisioned grounds maintenance plan.
      • Communicate expectations to grounds crew.
      • Provide regular training opportunities to grounds crews and supervisors.