III. Facilities Plan Process
Campus Master Planning: Facilities Utilization

Draft-11/23/98, REV. 7/10/1999, 1/18/2000, 2/7/2000

The process for the facilities plan involved six inter-related activities. Most of the elements that contribute to the plan change over time so for the plan to be useful and responsive it must remain flexible in its details. Following is a description of the these six elements:

A. Physical Master Plan

In October of 1996 the University completed a Physical Master Plan. Hay Dobbs was hired to facilitate the process and write the plan. The base information on campus facilities, capital improvements, classroom use and campus lands were provided to the consultant and a committee from across campus and the larger community. Themes were developed by the committee and shared for comment and review by the rest of campus through several meetings. The final plan has been presented to various stakeholders of the University including the St. Cloud Planning Commission, Legislative Committees, Alumni Association Board, the SCSU Foundation Board and the MnSCU Board of Trustees.

The primary thrust of the study was "to analyze the current campus physical condition and develop design concepts to improve function, access, appearance and image of the campus." This plan has begun to be implemented.

Underlying the plan was an aggregate analysis of classroom utilization and enrollment projections. This analysis concluded that through tight scheduling the University could meet its classroom needs through 2002 with current facilities. After that time the conversion of Centennial Hall, the current Learning Resources Center, into classroom and office space would be required to meet demand. The report also recognized the need for additional student service space and a significantly expanded bookstore. The final capital improvement anticipated in the plan was a replacement for the aging Selke Field. While the field itself is very good all of the support and spectator facilities are unsuitable.

The planning process recognized six principles for the development of specific projects or initiatives. While the plan focused on the overall campus use and improvement these principles can inform the facilities master plan process. Following is a brief discussion of each of these principles.


Create Clear Campus Edges

The edges are defined as 5th Avenue, 4th Street, 10th and 16th Streets. The plan proposes using trees, fencing, hedges, berms, buildings, lighting and other elements to create recognizable and defined edges to campus.

Create Clear Campus Entries

Direct traffic as it approaches campus on 10th and 16th Streets and 5th and 4th Avenues. Develop entries to campus at 6th and 8th Streets on 5th Avenue and at the intersection of 4th Street and 4th Avenue.

Develop the Campus Core

Develop a common vocabulary of architectural elements such as benches, signage, lighting, paving and fencing. Use this vocabulary with the buildings and landscape to create a hierarchy of open spaces.

Develop a Holistic Approach to Transportation

Improve transit service frequency, reliability and consistency. Develop transit stations to provide shelter, security and possibly retail sales and restrooms along with an information kiosk. Pave and landscape/screen the parking areas. These initiatives taken together should enhance the use of the perimeter parking areas while retaining the park like setting for the pedestrian areas of campus and retaining an attractively defined edge to campus.

Develop Access to the Mississippi River

The campus has little visual access to the River that borders campus and almost no physical access. The plan anticipates development of a river walk and overlooks to emphasize the link of the campus to the Mississippi River. It also encourages the design of renovated buildings along the river to consider links to the walk and views of the River.

Develop a Clear Connection between the North and South Campus

The campus is strongly divided by the 10th Street corridor. The physical connections need to be improved. These improvements would include the unification of visual elements, increased intra-campus transportation alternatives, the river walk and development of a stronger north-south pedestrian link.

B. Condition Assessment

The MnSCU Board hired several teams of consultants to evaluate the condition of all the facilities in the system, exclusive of roofs. Barton Mallow was assigned to St. Cloud State and over a series of visits to assess condition identified a list of work to be done to bring our facilities to essentially like new condition.

The total estimate was $22,525,000. This works out to an average of less than $9/GSF for the over 2.5 million GSF on campus. According to MnSCU the system range is from $4-50/GSF.

Breaking down the total into four components informs the discussion. $350,000 of the total is attributed to Atwood Center and about $4,000,000 involves residence hall and food service facilities. The $18,275,000 for M&E facilities includes $12,600,000 for projects already planned or partially funded in the Capital Improvement Program. These would include a new electrical system and renovation of Riverview, Eastman and Centennial. This leaves a balance of just over $5,000,000 to address as repairs. Considering that about half of the $600,000 R&B budget is used for "repairs" and half for "betterment" this $5,000,000 represents about a 15-year backlog. Since R&B is supplemented with HEAPR funds through the capital budget the true "backlog" is somewhat smaller, perhaps 7 years.

On the Revenue side of the house the Atwood Center would be considered to have no more than a 1-2 year backlog at present expenditure levels. The Residence Halls under the new MnSCU formula would have about 5-7 year backlog. This is exclusive of roofs and while very expensive no eminent, unfunded replacements are anticipated.

This assessment focused on the "nuts and bolts" of buildings excluding functional suitability. Functional obsolescence is more difficult to assess. Analysis of utilization, space standards and expressed departmental requirements more clearly define functional condition than other attempts at measurement.

C. Utilization of Space

Each department and unit on campus verified the University's inventory of space in 1997. All departments responded to the inventory verification and appropriate adjustments were made to the file. This inventory served as the basis for comparison to published indicators for space use and distribution.

The departments were also requested to provide space standards for size, type or utilization. There was very limited information provided on standards from the departments. At the same time there was research done on space or use standards at other systems or institutions. This information offers bench marks for planning.

The following table lists this information and when available the figure for SCSU.

Measure Reported Range Recommended SCSU Source
ASF or NASF/FTE 61-275+ 132 96 1,6
NET/GROSS SF-% 65-71   64% 6
NASF/WKLY CONT HR 3.6-6.0   5.4 6
NASF/STATION-CR   15-18.75 17.42 1-4,6
UTULHRS/WK-CR 19-40 28-36 25 1,2,4,6
STAION OCCUP %-CR 45-79 55-110 59% 1,4,6

UTIL-HRS/WK-LAB 6-34 16-34   1,2,6
60 Upper Division
80-Lower Division
  1. Regnier Study
  2. Utah State Statue
  3. 1962 Bareither Standard (Former MSUS Standard)
  4. Virginia System Standard
  5. U of M Standard
  6. N. Carolina Sys. Standard

It can be concluded that St. Cloud State lies at the low end of a very broad range of typical total square feet of space per FTE student; below the only recommended total NASF by 36 ASF. (This would equal about 500,000 ASF additional to meet this recommendation at SCSU.) This range and recommendation is influenced dramatically by athletic facilities. At the low end of the spectrum are institutions with no athletic, recreation or residence hall facilities. At the high end are universities large enclosed athletic facilities such as soccer and football playing or practice fields.

The key is that in spite of the National Hockey Center which is a remarkable facility for a University and even adding the new library of about 160,000 NASF SCSU would still not be exceptional or distinguished in its total space available for its academic mission.

The Net/Gross or building efficiency ratio and the assignable academic square footage per student contact hour for the University are typical and unremarkable. This is when compared to Universities similar to SCSU in the North Carolina System.

Classroom station size is in the middle of reported and recommended ranges.

The classroom utilization figures indicate that SCSU, when compared to various standards is at the low end in terms of hours used per week. The seat occupancy rates are in the middle of reported station occupancy rates and within the recommended range.

The classroom indicators are consistent with a study of classroom use completed for the Fall term of 1994 at SCSU. At that time enrollment was 14,673. Our available classrooms at this enrollment were under utilized about 20% of the hours and there was an excess seat vacancy rate of about 20% indicating a reserve capacity of classrooms of about 40%. (This would support the conclusion that we will have an adequate quantity of classrooms available at projected enrollments.)

It overlooks several factors that influence classroom utilization. Location-classrooms in Halenbeck were significantly underutilized because of the nature of programs in the buildings and the distance from other academic buildings. Conflicts in use-Eastman Hall classroom use extremely limits the use of the recreational and exercise areas of the building because of noise. Room capacity-an analysis of the data revealed there was a mismatch between average class size and average classroom capacity. Average class size at the time was 30 while the average size was 51 seats. Configuration and equipment- Classrooms have various compliments of instructional equipment and access to communication and electronics. All these characteristics influence the usefulness and desirability of the various rooms.

Since that time a shortage of student computer labs was recognized. Approaching the correct level for labs has been achieved to a certain extent at the expense of classroom space. This has decreased classroom capacity by about 6%.

MnSCU is currently working with a consultant to verify the space inventory at all the institutions and analyze utilization. They also are developing standards for inventory and utilization. It is likely that these will be similar to those shown above that have already been identified. They are likely to be published in the spring of 1999.

D. Current and Projected Needs by Department

While the aggregate information on enrollment projections for campus indicates increased demand for space in total the specifics can only be identified in a department by department analysis. More telling of space needs based on the development of "Academic Distinction" is likely to be found in analysis of the expressed needs of each department.

In the spring of 1998 each academic department and administrative unit of the University was asked to identify initiatives or needs that in the next five years would manifest themselves in facilities issues. The results confirmed not only the need for facilities in response to enrollment increases but also other issues that need to be addressed in order to have adequate facilities to allow program improvements. Many of these requests correlate directly with the strategic themes.

The following is a result of a critical analysis of the salient needs in Net Available Square Footage (NASF) based on the information provided by the various Departments.

Requests for faculty offices, additional classroom space based on added faculty or programs and space for new program initiatives were represented by a collective need listed in "Academic Affairs."

There were also several requests for "Resource Rooms" within individual departments. The frequency and character of these requests apparently represented a shift from the long-standing practice of having resources easily available with use and lending managed in a Learning Resources Center. Such a change may be inconsistent with the planned construction and operation of the new Library. This would be a fundamental change to be considered beyond the context of space need analysis so these space requests are not included.

Projected Space Need Summary 1998 Request for Information

Academic Units

NASF Department Need
1,000 Advis Cent Permanent location for Advising Center
500 Cult Cent Gallery, Resource Room, Offices
1,000 Honors Student common area, Offices
Various Offices-increased instructional positions 30-50
Increased instructional space/programs
Short term Faculty Residence
Program Additions

College of Business

NASF Department Need
Included Reception area
Per Policy TA and Adjunct Offices
Schedule Use of 80-100 seat classrooms
Undet. Entrepreneurial Center

College of Education

NASF Department Need
Undet. CFS Additional classroom space
3,000 Traff Saf Cent Additional instructional and office space

College of Fine Art and Humanities

NASF Department Need
In Process Art Individual Graphic Design Studios
CDIS Congregate Graduate Study Area
Consolidate Offices
Clinical preparation room
Waiting/reception area for clients
1,200 English Move TA's out of Shoemaker
Inten Eng Four Classrooms
Administrative/Reception area
Mass Comm Department Meeting Room
Access to 100+ seat Classroom
Philosophy Consolidate faculty in 1 location
BH 101 is too small
Spch Com Replace/consolidate Whitney faculty offices
Student organizations room
"Permanent" space
THFS&D Storage
One Classroom "back"- PA271
Adequate dance studio access

College of Science and Engineering

NASF Department Need
Scedule Elec Eng Use of classroom
0 E & TS Adaptive use of Headley
Undet Math Classroom space
600   Closed computer lab
1,200   Expand Math Skills Center
Undet. Bio/E Sci Storage for 5-7 boats

College of Social Science

NASF Department Need
1,200 Dean's Off Relocate nearer faculty
0 College Consolidate in single building
500 Criminal Just. Adjunctfaculty work space
120 Economics GA office-as available
Seminar/Lab room
240 Geography Rearrangement in Stewart Hall
120 MINS/WS Office for GA and WS
Consolidated offices w/ College
0 Poli Sci Consolidate offices
0 Psychology Adequate quality space needed including
keeping lab current
Undet. Soc & Anth Applied research center 1
Survey Cent Equipment room
Conference room
Adjacent faculty offices
3 survey director work areas

Continuing Studies

NASF Department Need
Undet. Administrative and Instructional Center

Learning Resources and Technology Services

NASF Department Need
Needs will be met in the new James W. Miller Learning Resources Center

Administrative Affairs Units

NASF Department Need
0 Admissions Rearrangement/improvement
4,500 Admin Com Rearrangement/improvement
360 MnSCSU Offices
Bookstore Expansion of space
Vacate temporary structure
2,000 Bus Office Rearrangement/improvement
Fac Mang Consolidation-vacate NOC
Grounds Garage
Replace motor pool garage
0 Unit Wide Area for student centered services; loans, collections, records, etc.
Undet. Print Serv Accessible copy and printing Center
10,000 Storage Facility

Student Life and Development

NASF Department Need
480 Counseling ALC classroom expansion
Undet Health Ser Improve/move from present facility
Undet Min Prog Consolidate Programs
13,000-16,000 Res Life 80-100 beds to accommodate enrollment
0 Rec Sports Meet exist. demand for rec. use of Eastman Hall
Additional field space required
Undet Stu Dis Serv Additional space in AMC
0 Wom Cen Move from present facility
16,000 Child Care New Facility 130 child capacity
600 GLBT Serv Office and meeting space

University & Alumni Relations/Foundation

NASF Department Need
0 Entire Unit Consolidate at a single location


NASF Department Need
Undet.   Adequate venue for Soccer and Football

Institutional Research

NASF Department Need
0 Consolidate Offices
99,955-114,355 Total Net Available Square Footage Requested

The changes in use and vacation of unsuitable or temporary space suggested in the various facilities requests are reflected in the following figures:

6,000 Vacate and Demolish Colbert Houses-women's Center and Offices
3,000 Vacate and Demolish Center for Continuing Studies
5,300 Vacate Shoemaker basement-English Offices
1,800 Move Student Disability Services out of Atwood Center
1,000 Move Minority Student Programs out of Atwood Center
2,000 Vacate and Demolish North Office Center
18,800 Total area to be vacated

(Consistent with the analysis of classroom utilization, indicating limited needs, 2-8% of the requested space is additional classrooms.)

E. Physical Resources

The resources available in the near future to meet this expressed need include the conversion of Centennial Hall, 113,000-120,000 NASF, the renovation of Lawrence Hall, 30,000 NASF and 18,000 added NASF in the Miller LRC for a total of 161,000-168,000 NASF. Therefore all of these needs can be met in available space if the configuration and distribution of the space across campus can be favorably planned.

  1. Information provided by Department did not define need further.
  2. Excludes areas that were "undertermined", childcare center and grounds and motor pool garages.
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