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Texas State Master Plan Committee seeks public feedback

In the LBJ conference room on jan. 21, people viewed large maps of the campus as they discussed the new master plan
Photo by: Lesly de Leon | Staff Photographer
In the LBJ conference room on jan. 21, people viewed large maps of the campus as they discussed the new master plan.

The Texas State University Master Plan Committee offered students and faculty a chance to view plans that will potentially impact how the university looks in the future, and requested feedback on Thursday night.

University officials hosted the open house for staff, faculty and students to share their opinions on what changes should be made to the new campus Master Plan. According to an email sent by the university, a new Master Plan is completed every 10 years.

A committee was formed to create the plan by this year. Members began the task by asking for comments from the people who know the campus best.

The committee had individuals place dots on a campus map of places on campus they thought should be preserved, renovated or completely reconstructed.

Individuals gave the members specific comments on aspects of campus that need improvement, such as better mobility and the limited number of parking spaces.

The consultants plan to take the public feedback into consideration when they make recommendations for the master plan to university officials, said Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president of finance and support services planning.

“(The consultants will) take all the comments and they’ll document them and then they’ll share them with the university,” Nusbaum said. “They’ll make recommendations based on things that they’re hearing.”

The committee plans to have a draft completed in a year and take it to the Board of Regents in May 2017 for approval. The recommendations will go to President Denise Trauth, who will make final decisions. After the Master Plan is finalized, construction on projects will begin.

Ryan Kessinger, president of Transcend, talked to a committee member at the session about getting more gender neutral housing and restrooms on campus.

“There’s not enough for our students, especially our incoming freshmen,” Kessinger said. “We’re seeing an increase in those numbers of students who have these needs. It looks like something that’s going to be happening with housing so hopefully restrooms will follow.”

Conner Herriges, computer science senior, talked to a consultant about the specific difficulties of navigating campus for non-able-bodied people.

“I’m graduating this semester so I’m not going to see it to fruition, but I would like to see people behind me be able to navigate the campus more easily,” Herriges said. “It’s a beautiful campus, I’d like to see it more accessible to different people.”

Kessinger is hopeful university officials will consider people’s concerns and make necessary changes.

“I know before I came here, I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do this,’ because it’s challenging,” Kessinger said.