Tag Archives: Campus Master Plan

GRU Master Plan proposes blurring the lines between campuses

A renaissance at Georgia Regents University will begin by blurring the lines between the Health Sciences Campus and the Summerville Campus, as envisioned by the 10-year Master Plan unveiled last week.

In order to do that, the plan, still in draft form, proposes migrating the College of Science and Mathematics to the Health Sciences Campus from the Summerville Campus. The College currently occupies 81,000 square feet total between Science Hall and Allgood Hall; if the College is relocated, that vacated square footage would be backfilled with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Business and the College of Education.

Science Hall could even become an academic commons with office space, open class and lab space, a bookstore and café and study/collaboration space.

Campus planners SmithGroupJJR presented that proposed scenario and several others last week to students, faculty and staff in a series of town hall meetings on the Master Plan.

“You need to come away from this knowing there is a bright future,” said Doug Kozma, SmithGroupJJR Principal.

A candidate location for the new College of Science and Mathematics is on what is now Goss Lane, adjacent to the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons.

The College’s migration means that some students would take classes on each campus, no matter their major, according to SmithGroupJJR, and help foster the feeling that Georgia Regents University is one university and not one campus versus another campus.

The Master Plan also envisions that Georgia Regents University will transition from a commuter campus to a residence campus with the institution’s goal of housing 26 percent of the student population on campus in the next 10 years. A major step toward meeting that goal will happen this summer when ground is broken for a new 709-bed student housing complex behind the Student Center on the Health Sciences Campus.

The new complex, with 404 undergraduate beds and 305 graduate beds, will be open for fall 2016.

It would share a quadrangle with the College of Science of Mathematics, Education Commons and College of Dental Medicine. The quadrangle would be filled with trees, paved walking and bike paths and a pedestrian mall, according to the Master Plan. That area is currently Lot 10, the gravel parking lot of front of Education Commons.

Enhanced by the improvements that are set to take place this summer, including the narrowing to two lanes from four, Laney Walker Boulevard would become a robust research corridor by mixing new translational research facilities with existing facilities.

The south side quadrangle would be mirrored by another on the north side of campus bordered by the Ronald McDonald House, Health Sciences Building and Greenblatt Library.

A good deal of surface parking would be eliminated and those spaces relocated to new parking decks on R.A. Dent Boulevard and on 15th Street. The Medical Office Building deck on Harper Street would be expanded, as well.

“It’s aspirational but doable,” Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Business Officer Tony Wagner said. “It’s not pie in the sky.”

SmithGroupJJR expects to have the Master Plan finalized in the next two to three months.

GRU to hold town hall meetings on Campus Master Plan

Campus Master Plan consultants SmithGroupJJR will present proposed scenarios for future campus planning in April during a series of town hall meetings, to include a question-and-answer period. In addition, displays and other planning materials will be on-hand for attendees to view and provide feedback and recommendations.

The Campus Master Plan will work in support of the university’s strategic plan and set the vision for facilities needed to accommodate future growth of academic programs and student services. Potential future planning scenarios are based on assessments of educational readiness and building conditions.

The dates and times of the town hall meetings are as follows:

Wednesday, April 1
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
JSAC Coffeehouse, Summerville Campus

Thursday, April 2
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
BC 1040, Health Sciences Campus (Located in Lee Auditorium)

Friday, April 3
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus

Friday, April 3
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
BC 1040, Health Sciences Campus (Located in Lee Auditorium)

Master Plan Update

The following email was sent by Dr. Gretchen Caughman

Dear Colleagues,

The GRU Campus Master Plan Advisory Committee today learned about several transformative changes on the horizon for all campuses.

Due to interest from local news outlets on the Campus Master Plan, the GRU master planning committee wants to ensure our faculty and staff are informed first.

Most notably, demolition will begin in late May of Residence V, located behind the Wellness Center on the Health Sciences Campus. In its place will be a new student housing complex with more than 700 beds, which will open for Fall 2016.

Master planning team Smith Group JJR is actively engaged in scenario-based, programmatic planning for academic, clinical, and student life across all campuses.

The highest and best use of existing facilities is being evaluated as is the need for new facilities, all to ensure GRU’s nine colleges realize their goals of enhancing their individual program offerings to the greatest benefit of students, patients, staff, and faculty.

GRU will continue to work with the Board of Regents to develop plans for the clinical arm of the enterprise.


Gretchen B. Caughman

Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Master plan presentation addresses student housing, parking

1038x576-campusMasterPlanThere is opportunity for positive change on the campuses of Georgia Regents University and the Health System using dollars and resources to reposition facilities, according to campus planning consultants.

Those positive changes include more student housing, more parking spaces, and a greener, more pedestrian-friendly Health Sciences Campus.

Each was discussed Thursday in conjunction with the Faculty Senate Assembly by SmithGroupJJR, the company chosen by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to develop a master plan for both campuses. The master plan is a critical part of creating a road map to drive campus planning now and into the future.

Projected modest enrollment growth through 2023 will translate into the need for more faculty; a responsive increase in academic and support space; an increase in research space; and an increase in student life and amenities, said SmithGroupJJR Prinicipal Doug Kozma.

A student housing benchmark nationwide, as it is at the three other R1 research institutions in the state of Georgia, is 26 percent, Kozma said.

“We’re choosing to migrate in terms of residence level, housing and amenities, toward a trajectory of 26 percent for our housing. So, that’s an ambitious goal. That’s already begun,” he said.

It’s already begun with Phase 1 of the Public Private Partnership that will create 650 beds on the Health Sciences Campus; 300 beds will be for graduate students and 350 for undergraduates. The new housing will replace existing facilities that have a combined 220 beds.

The builder of those new beds is expected to be chosen at the University System of Georgia Board of Regents meeting in November, with construction complete in 2016.

But, what is the logic of providing housing for undergraduates and space for their cars on the “crowded” Health Sciences Campus, faculty asked, when most attend classes on the Summerville Campus?

“This was just our first stab at getting some housing, any housing. This is not a crowded footprint,” said Dr. Ricardo Azziz, GRU President. “I am not concerned to put 650 more students here. We need some parking decks; we need some higher-story buildings. We’re glad the USG considered us in this first phase because we could have been sitting around waiting to get student housing, and I think that would have been disastrous. I do want everyone to take a step back because I hear ‘landlocked’ all the time. We’re not landlocked. We’re not even remotely landlocked. We have lots of space; we have lots of space contiguously. But we have a lot of one- and two-story buildings on campus. We’ve got room. Promise.”

A separate study on parking is underway, the results of which will inform the master plan consultants, according to Vice President of Facilities Service Phil Howard.

“Parking is a huge, huge concern of ours. In order for us to create a pedestrian-friendly campus, all of these flat lots plopped in the middle of campus are problematic. Campuses who have gone from vehicular campuses to pedestrian campuses, they push the parking to the perimeter,” Howard said. “If you want a pedestrian-friendly campus, that’s what you have to do. So that’s all a part of what we’re looking at.”

The positive changes SmithGroupJJR sees opportunity for must be prioritized in order to align Georgia Regents University and Health System with its strategic goals of being a top-tier institution. The prioritization will then drive the discussion of cost, said SmithGroupJJR Principal Mary Jukuri.

For more on the master plan, visit gru.edu/facilities/cmp/.

Master Plan to be Discussed at Faculty Senate Meeting

At the University Senate Faculty Assembly on Oct. 23, the Facilities Master Planning Team will provide an update on the Master Planning process. The Team is excited to have this opportunity to share information about the process and how it is creating a road map to guide campus planning now and into the future.

Faculty are encouraged to come to the Health Sciences (EC) building, room 1222, at 5:30 p.m. to learn how projections and the data gathered from assessments of educational readiness and building conditions will align with GRU’s strategic plan and set the vision of the facilities needed for future academic programs and student services. The Master Plan is a crucial tool to develop building and renovation projects that will meet GRU’s needs.

This information session will be held in conjunction with the University Senate meeting and will include a question-and-answer period with the Master Plan consultants.

Regents select SmithGroupJJR for GRU master plan

smith groupThe University System of Georgia Board of Regents today selected SmithGroupJJR to begin work on the campus master plan for Georgia Regents University and Health System. Planning will commence in December and take approximately 10 to 12 months to complete.

“We’re excited to partner with SmithGroupJJR as we work to create a road map that will guide campus planning now and into the future,” said Phil Howard, Vice President of Facilities Services for the university and health system. “This will be a crucial tool in ensuring that short- and long-term projects are working in conjunction with our university’s strategic plan and our vision for the future.”

The plan will include an assessment of 6.5 million square feet and 670 acres of existing facilities and infrastructure, as well as the creation of a campus historic preservation plan.

“The master planning process will involve matching university and health system future needs against all potential site opportunities, including various downtown districts,” Howard said. “We look forward to continuing to work with the city and the Augusta Regional Collaboration Project regarding future opportunities to operate efficiently and create synergies between academic programs, student services, and our community.”

The current university and health system infrastructure supports over 20,000 students, faculty, and staff. Nearly 16,000 inpatients and 357,000 outpatients were treated at a health system facility in Fiscal Year 2012.