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12/18/13 - Letter from COO David F. Harnage

Dear Campus Community:

Last week the Board of Visitors approved the Old Dominion University Master Plan, which organizes and develops the physical space of the campus to support the future goals of the university. The planning committee worked for almost a year on the project. The process included collecting qualitative data, in the form of input from on- and off-campus groups; organizing quantitative data, in the form of a space analysis guided by SCHEV guidelines; developing planning objectives; examining arrangements for precincts (academics, housing, dining, and recreation and athletics); drafting a plan and sharing it with groups on- and off-campus; and making revisions based on comments received before submitting a final plan for consideration by the Board of Visitors.

As with any campus master plan, the timeline for Old Dominion's plan will extend at least 20 years. Because remaining within the existing university boundaries was one of the main planning objectives, creating new academic, residential and other spaces will involve redevelopment of the campus to organize areas more logically. Also, most new construction will be taller than existing structures.

The College of Health Sciences, for example, will move into the academic core of the campus with the other colleges. Its new facility will be on the site of the current Education Building; the Darden College of Education will be moving into a new facility in the next five years. As a second example, a complex of new six-story residence halls will be built around Foreman Field (which will serve as recreation space) so that students can be closer to the academic core of the campus.

A new football stadium will be built in the athletics precinct on the west side of campus. A preliminary design study will be conducted to determine characteristics, including size, fan amenities and transportation strategies for game days.

For the academic buildings, acquiring funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as planning and construction, will take years. Facilities constructed from other funds may come sooner, but they will also take years to plan and build.

The ODU Master Plan is comprehensive and there is much to be done in the years ahead. We believe it is a good, solid plan and one that will allow the university to better accommodate future students, faculty and staff and serve the entire Hampton Roads area.

I wish to thank to everyone who contributed to the development of this successful plan.

Sincerely,
David F. Harnage Chief Operating Officer