By Jackie Budko

In the final lecture of the semester on sustainability in College Park May 8, representatives from this university’s facilities operations discussed their “Master Plan” for the university going forward in “The Facilities Master Plan: Discussion about Issues, Opportunities and Challenges.”

Bill Mallari, the interim director of facilities management and Dan Hayes, one of the architects on staff, presented their plan for the university community over the next 12 years, touching on topics like transportation, university land use and sustainability.

“Master Planning is an affirmation of the university mission,” Mallari said. “It serves the broader community as a source of education and is an advancement to the state of Maryland.”

The current mission and values the university is working towards are diversity in demographics, multidisciplinary teaching and research transformation via emergent technologies and the integration of arts and humanities with STEM stewardship and sustainability, Mallari listed.

Master Plans at the university are officially developed every 10 years, with adjustments made every year and a check-in at the five-year mark. The university also has a Master Plan made in advance of the current plan they are carrying out. The plan we are currently in is the 2011-2030 Master Plan.

The main goals of the current Master Plan are to provide excellence, connectivity, stewardship and sustainability to the campus community, Mallari said. The implementation of these goals is in relation to the city of College Park, the state of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed ,with regard to the culture and heritage of the university.

Hayes explained that the history of the university played an important role in the development of the current campus format.

“McKeldin Mall was never supposed to be the center of campus,” Hayes said. “Only after the Great Fire of 1912 did the university realize that they had an opportunity to create a main focal point at UMD.”

Present-day UMD started to develop in the 1930s, with the formal plan for McKeldin Mall and the creation of buildings surrounding the grassy area. Since then, the university has been growing outward, with several renovations and remodels in between, including two of the most recent: Cole Field House and the Edward St. John Learning Center.

Intermittently throughout the presentation, Hayes and Mallari would ask for feedback from the audience about the university’s development plans, specifically about the development of the Purple Line and parking on campus.

The general student reaction was that there needs to be a larger push for connected transportation. Hayes said that with three stops on the Purple Line slated to be built on campus, there would be an alternate method for students to get around on campus in addition to buses, cars and bikes.

The lecture was a joint series as part of the class “Sustainability in College Park,” offered as ARCH289I. Each week, the class has what are called “Sustainable Tuesdays,” where guest speakers are invited to give lectures on different topics focusing on sustainability.

“You being here makes this possible,” said Ralph Bennett, the ARCH289I professor. “Stay engaged, planning is a group effort.”

Feature Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gerd Altmann’s Pixabay account.

Jackie Budko is a junior journalism major and can be reached at jbudko28@gmail.com.

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