Beginning several years ago with a charge from the Strategic Plan, Maria College began to develop a campus master plan with the goal of improving the appearance, safety and efficiency of the campus and learning spaces and positioning Maria College for a strong future. Through the development of the campus master plan the College solidified the idea to bring our mission to bear on the environment by making the College’s values physically visible. The ultimate goal of the multi-year project is to enhance the student experience here at Maria College and to make sure our campus, buildings, and spaces better reflect our mission and heritage.
The early stage of this project involved re-imagining the learning spaces for the Occupational Therapy program. Stage I of the project commenced with the $750,000 renovation to McAuley to create state-of-the-art Distance Learning Center and other classrooms, an Activities of Daily Living suite, and other hands-on learning spaces. Construction began in October 2017 and was completed at the end of December 2018, when the vision to move the program into the McAuley Building was realized. These spaces were officially opened in January of 2018.
The design process for Stage II to relocate the Nursing Program to the McAuley Building began immediately after receiving approval from the Maria College Board of Directors with the scope presented at the April 2018 Board Meeting. Maria College was able to acquire a generous furniture donation that allowed the Nursing faculty to move into their intended spaces on the 3rd Floor of the Building during the summer of 2018. The design of two state-of-the art skills labs with 14 stations, installation of four Sim Manikins commenced immediately, and construction work began in August 2018. This work was completed in December in time for the Spring Semester 2019 classes to take advantage of these areas.
The next stage of the project will involve major changes to the site plan of Maria College, with a goal of making the campus more attractive, increasing pedestrian safety, enhancing lighting, and updating the grounds and facilities. This part of the plan will begin construction in August 2019 and run through the summer of 2020. In some ways it will be the most visible part of the campus changes, impacting the greatest number of students and faculty, though it by no means is it to be considered the most important. There will be three phases to this stage, which include:
- The addition of a roadway and parking to the west side of Marian Hall and drainage on the southeast portion of campus (Phase I)
- The removal of the main parking lot and the addition of a central campus lawn, along with a renovation of the pod and main building access (Phase II)
- Additional vestibule work to Marian Hall (Phase III) and teaching and learning space updates in the Main Building.
Major initiatives of this stage include:
- Beautifying the campus and enhancing the student experience with the physical grounds, buildings, and way-finding
- Relocating the green space on campus from the perimeter to the center
- Relocating the parking on campus from the center to the perimeter
- Redesigning some key entryways into buildings, to make them more modern and inviting
- Incorporating our Catholic identity and Mercy heritage into the physical surroundings
- Combining three campus vehicular entrances into one
- Working with landscape architects to enhance the natural beauty of the campus with plantings and trees
- Improving the public spaces, accessibility, food offerings, and other key components to the student experience
- The final stage of the Campus Master Plan will focus on teaching and learning spaces in the Main Building
The first part of this stage will include roadway and parking construction on the west and south lawns adjacent to Marian Hall. This work will commence in August 2019 and continue into the fall.
There has been a campus aesthetics committee organized to work with the architects and designers on the ultimate layout and details of the campus plan. That committee is being led by Andrew LeDoux, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.
We are excited to share this plan with you and to communicate how these changes will occur over the next 12-18 months. As Maria looks to the future we can be confident that our College and campus will be better positioned to provide an exemplary education through spaces that better reflect our mission, values, and identity as a Catholic institution of higher education.
Campus Development Plan