RIC begins 10-year master plan

Rhode Island College is developing a 10-year facilities master plan for its Mount Pleasant Avenue campus, in conjunction with Saratoga Associates, a nationally recognized higher education planning team, who will lead a multi-disciplinary group of architects, planners, engineers and landscape architects to prepare the plan.

A bird's-eye view of the RIC campus.
Saratoga Associates is working closely with the RIC’s Master Plan and Steering Committees that represent faculty, staff, students and the administration, to develop ideas and priorities for future projects.

“The campus master plan must coordinate with our vision for Rhode Island College and the needs that we anticipate. Just as with the NEASC self-study and the 2015 strategic planning process, the results will be best if we all participate,” said RIC President Nancy Carriuolo.

Key areas already identified for the plan include the integration of current work for the Recreation and Arts Centers, an infrastructure study and the proposed Nursing/Health Care facility.

The master plan was initiated in November 2009 with goal setting meetings and focus groups to identify target areas for update and improvement of the 50-year-old campus.

Barry Schiller, chair of the Master Planning Committee and retired RIC math professor, said he wanted to participate “because I want concerns for sustainability, green space, and being a good neighbor to be an integral part of the process.”

The plan is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2010 and consists of phases involving academic space planning, community environs assessment, facilities assessment, concept development, implementation plans and documentation before presentation of the final plan.

“The master plan is a vehicle to help implement the ongoing strategic planning efforts of the college,” said Robert Southerland, vice president of Saratoga Associates. He added that the plan will address “big picture” facilities needs. Southerland said that determining specific needs such as lighting fixtures, furniture needs or wall treatments will be addressed with individual building and renovations projects.

A two-day participatory workshop (known as a “charrette”) for the college community to share ideas and visions for the college will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m., and Thursday, Feb. 4, from 9 a.m.-noon, in the Donovan Dining Center.

The word charrette comes from the French for a cart or wagon used to collect students’ drawings at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris during the 19th Century. The word has become a universal term used by architects and designers to describe an intensive effort to develop design ideas.

“It is so very important to the success of the master planning process for the charrette to receive campus-wide participation, “ said Ivy Locke, vice president for finance and administration. “Input and ideas from all members of the campus community are welcome and needed.”

For more information, visit the Master Plan website at www.ric.edu/masterplan09/.
Master Plan updates will also appear regularly in What’s News at Rhode Island College online.