Community invited to learn about Missouri S&T Campus Master Plan

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On September 15, 2020

Architect's rendering of the planned Missouri S&T Arrival District.

Architect’s rendering of the Arrival District.

 The Rolla community is invited to a Zoom presentation on Missouri S&T’s preliminary 2021 Campus Master Plan. Participants will learn about plans for a new entry to the Rolla community and a university arrival district as well as plans for the future of the physical campus environment, including buildings, facilities and grounds.

The virtual presentation will be held 3-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. Participants may access the presentation using the following Zoom link Community members will have an opportunity to ask questions, and hosts will answer as many as possible within the allotted timeframe.

Missouri S&T’s 2021 Campus Master Plan builds upon previous plan updates from 2014 and 2017 and addresses S&T’s 2018 Strategic Plan. It includes new buildings, which will be funded by donors to the university, as well as a new arrival district.

The arrival district is part of the Move Rolla Transportation Development District (TDD), a partnership among the city of Rolla, Phelps County, Phelps Health and Missouri S&T. By 2022, the TDD will realign University Drive along 12th Street to connect to campus and improve access to Bishop Avenue from U.S. Interstate 44.  The roadways will direct visitors to an improved Bishop Avenue and into a new university arrival district — a more visually defined entrance point for campus. 

A centerpiece of the arrival district will be a roundabout that will improve traffic flow along Bishop Avenue. The roundabout, along with other infrastructure improvements in the community as part of the TDD, will enhance pedestrian safety.

The TDD program is designed to promote a safe, healthy and more economically vibrant community through a transportation system that better meets community needs. The S&T Campus Master Plan was developed to complement and support the TDD initiatives as well as campus needs.

“Missouri S&T’s campus master planners have hoped for many years and through several plan iterations to create a clear path for visitors to enter the university,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani. “The arrival district will not only provide a welcoming front door for our university, but will also welcome visitors to the Rolla community.”

The entrance includes a new pedestrian bridge crossing U.S. Interstate 44 at Exit 185. This allows easy access for foot traffic between Bishop Avenue and the community and university housing located northeast of campus. A new and expanded tunnel beneath Bishop Avenue will open up the area for further community development.

“Rolla is proud to serve as home to Missouri S&T,” says Rolla Mayor Lou Magdits. “Continual improvement of the university campus like that outlined in this master plan directly affects our economy and the overall betterment of our community. It’s one more example of the strong partnership between the city and the university.”

In his first State of the University address, Dehghani outlined his three top priorities — retention, research and regional economic development, in addition to focused attention to increasing enrollment. The draft proposal calls for new buildings to be funded largely through donor gifts that align with these goals.

To help reach university enrollment goals, the plan proposes an easy-to-find Welcome Center with nearby parking for prospective students and their families.

“One of our goals as a university is to increase enrollment by 50% and bring in 12,000 students,” Dehghani says. “This Campus Master Plan will play an important role in helping Missouri S&T achieve this milestone, and the growth of our student population will in turn be a tremendous boost to the community and to the economic development of the city.”

To address student retention, a proposed Student Experience Center would be dedicated to first-year students and would feature active-learning classrooms, a maker space, collaboration space and areas for both team-oriented and technology-oriented work.

A proposed expansion of Bertelsmeyer Hall, which houses Missouri S&T’s chemical and biochemical engineering program, addresses goals related to research and academics.

Once completed, the Campus Master Plan will be submitted to the University of Missouri Board of Curators for approval in 2021.

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