Drury University has high expectations for the future look and feel of campus as part of its new master plan unveiled Monday.
Students, staff and university officials were on hand for the presentation showcasing the new 25 year strategy which includes new student housing, changes to streets on campus and renovations to existing buildings. Drury partnered with Cooper Robertson, a New York-based architecture and design firm, to develop the plan. Input was also sought from the university and Springfield communities.
Drury University President Dr. Tim Cloyd said the new plan mirrors what the school was built on: hard work and “bold transformational vision.”
“What you’ll experience will be a product of bold vision driven by faith and belief, and it will be made real by the hard work of the Drury community,” Cloyd said.
The plan also includes a new student center as well as new classrooms on the south side of campus. Another aspect would see significant changes for streets that run through campus. Officials want to close Drury Lane off to traffic north of Central Street and make it the heart of campus by transforming it into a pedestrian mall.
As it is today, Drury Lane turns into a parking lot during business hours, according to Cloyd.
“And so what we want to do is move that parking to the periphery so that we create this spine of Drury Lane that becomes this defining element,” Cloyd said.
Changes to Central Street include narrowing it from Benton Avenue to Summit Avenue so it is more bike and pedestrian friendly. The transformation would also create a linear park that showcases the history of the university and Springfield.
The plan is more of an overall guideline for the next 25 years as opposed to a set blueprint. David Hinson, executive vice-president, chief operating officer and chief investment officer of Drury says the projects will be largely funded through donors. Hinson added that the university won’t build anything until it has the money for the specific project. Officials hope to start construction as early as next year.