New university proposals seek to accommodate increase in student enrollment
On May 16, UC Davis released an update to its Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), a list of requirements used to outline the campus growth and community needs of the school by 2027.
“The goal of the proposed plan is to keep UC Davis compact and keep people connected,” said Bob Segar, assistant vice chancellor for Campus Planning and Community Resources, in a press release.
The LRDP lays out a plan to accommodate the increase in student enrollment capacity, which currently stands at 32,130 students. It is set to increase by 6,870 more students, while faculty capacity is set to increase by 2,405 to 14,500 members.
“They’re looking at the number of students we expect to accommodate in the coming years and they’re looking at how that divides up around the campus and what the demand is likely to be,” said Andy Fell, associate director of news and media relations. “The long range is about, ‘how do we plan for the future of the campus given the expected enrollment growth?’, and that goes along with more facilities, more faculty, more classrooms and so on.”
The plan is an update from the 2013-15 LRDP and emphasizes environmental and financial sustainability as well as promotes compact growth.
Lucas Griffith, the university’s campus planner, said that the proposed increase in housing will alleviate some of the current issues with finding living spaces in the city.
“The big issue in town is student housing,” Griffith said. “If we grow, where are all these students going to live? The housing market in Davis is 0.2 vacancy rate, so it’s really difficult to find a location to live in town and if we grow by 6,000 students and didn’t provide any campus housing, then our student body would be a commuting student body, and for a variety of reasons we value a local community.”
Currently, the university is looking at different locations on campus for developing new housing, including West Village, Orchard Park, Russell Field and Solano Gateway. The university currently houses 29 percent of UC Davis students but hopes to increase that number to 40 percent.
“If you live on campus you bike, you bus, you walk and you can live car-free,” Griffith said. “That is exactly what we need to be doing in climate change. That’s incredibly sustainable, but there’s also a community value of living on campus. You’re able to participate in more social programs, whether it’s a club or campus rec or you’re able to engage more classmates to do school work on a Saturday or Sunday.”
The plan is a part of three documents, including the Physical Design Framework and the Ten-Year Capital Plan, that each campus in the University of California system creates. All proposals must be signed off by the regents.
Written by: Ivan Valenzuela –firstname.lastname@example.org