Master of their domain

A brand new gymnasium. A second quad between Baldwin and Mitchell Towers. A theatre on the main quad.
Each of these concepts are part of Albion College’s Master Plan that was presented in an open forum Wednesday, September 9. The 20-year Master Plan was envisioned following the completion of Albion’s strategic plan and according to Donna Randall, Albion College president, is the first Master Plan to be created since 1990.
“Everything came together with the completion of the old Master Plan (1990) and the new administration,” Randall said.
Alan F. Hohlfelder and Christopher D. Brown, architects from the MacLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni (MCF) firm based in Pittsburg, Pa., presented the conceptualized Master Plan. The Master Plan consists of numerous campus-wide renovations, the biggest being the renovation of the Seeley Mudd library, the Dow Center and Kresge Gym.
“There’s no specific priority list,” said Hohlfedler during his presentation. “But the library and athletic center are on everyone’s radar.”
According to the Master Plan, the Dow Center renovation would involve converting Herrick Center for Speech Communication and Theater into a building for physical education classes and coaches’ offices. The old theatre would be converted for large lecture usage. Additionally, a new 1,500-seat gymnasium would be built and the current Kresge Gymnasium would be renovated into large and small theatres for the theatre department.
“Student wellness was an important principle,” Hohlfelder said. “The new athletic center would have separate fitness rooms, one for common use and the other for varsity athletes.”
Other renovations include renovating Bobbitt Hall, adding a recital hall and rehearsal space onto Goodrich Chapel, adding 268 parking spaces around the central campus, and closing Jackson Street and Porter Street to make a residential quad between Baldwin and Mitchell Towers.
The estimated cost of all the projects is $125.8 million, according to the Master Plan.

“Before we stick a shovel in the ground, we’ll do a feasibility study,” Randall said. “We will not start building without the assurance of funding.”

The Master Plan is a 20-year plan and is not yet finalized. According to Mike Frandsen, interim vice president of finance and administration, the Master Plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees in October for their approval. However, some components of the Master Plan, such as the new fitness room currently being constructed in the Dow Center, are already under way.
“We realized there was such demand (for workout space) that we went ahead with it,” Randall said. “The room is being purposely positioned for a larger project.”
A second campus forum will held next week for any students and staff who were unable to attend the first one, according to Frandsen.

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