Celina Oseguera and Tim Wetzel
This is the first in a continuing series about the Cal Poly Master Plan.
The Master Plan is a long-term plan Cal Poly must update and have approved by the California State University Board of Trustees. The most recent update to the plan includes changes the university wants to see in the next 20 years, setting guidelines for the campus’ physical development.
The Master Plan has the following goals:
- Phase growth north
- Modal shift
- Environmental sustainability
- Enhanced Learn By Doing
- More students living on campus
- A compact, cross-disciplinary academic campus core
- More diverse students, faculty and staff/more vibrant evening and weekend activity
One by one, Mustang News will break down these goals and their affects on students, faculty and the community.
Goal one: Phase growth north
There isn’t much space left for new student housing.
But, Interim University Planning Officer Linda Dalton and the rest of the Master Plan team have an idea of how to solve this problem.
“Historically to date, student housing has gone more to the east,” Interim University Planning Officer Linda Dalton said. “In order to build more student housing in the future, we don’t really have much choice left but to go across the creek.”
But student housing isn’t the only facility that may go there.
According to Dalton, the Master Plan indicates the possibility of placing new student and speciality housing, new recreation centers, the irrigation technology center, the proposed Agricultural Events Center and Equestrian Pavilion, a replacement for Mott Athletics Center and the proposed hotel and conference center in the northern part of campus, past the creek that runs near the baseball diamond parking.
In the maps below, the new housing facilities are in blue, the recreation centers are teal, the irrigation technology center is green with dark diagonal lines, the Agriculture Events Center and Equestrian Pavilion are brown, the Mott Athletics Center is light purple in concept map 3 and purple in concept map 1 and the hotel and conference center is purple in all the maps.
Click on each one to get a larger picture.
However, during a Master Plan public discussion led by Dalton on Thursday March 28, it became apparent some students were against moving northward.
Most dissented because some of the conceptual maps proposed building facilities over land used by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES).
Under this common dissent, Students for Agriculture formed. The group advocates for the preservation of CAFES agriculture lands from the Master Plan propositions.
Group member and agricultural and environmental plant sciences sophomore Joel Leonard advocated for keeping the land during the Thursday discussion, but reminded the room the Master Plan is just that — a plan.
“(The university is) not saying they’re going to do it, but we’re trying to advocate why they shouldn’t,” Leonard said.
The group’s website lists off the CAFES land that would possibly be eliminated if facilities moved northward; some row crops, citrus and deciduous orchards, the Leaning Pine arboretum and several greenhouses.
The photo below shows what facilities would cover the agricultural land.
Row crops and citrus orchards are noted by the purple box, the deciduous orchard is noted by the red box and the Leaning Pine Arboretum and greenhouses are noted by the yellow box.
The row crop and citrus land is 15.8 acres, the deciduous orchard occupies 14 acres and the Leaning Pine Arboretum takes up 4.7 acres, not including the greenhouses nearby.
Though Dalton was aware of student dissent, she still had high hopes for development around and north of the creek before Thursday’s meeting.
“If you think about Downtown San Luis Obispo and you think about the creek there, it’s a really attractive place. By having more development across the creek, you’ve got things happening on both sides of the creek,” Dalton said.
Anyone can address their concerns and opinions about the Master Plan to the university through the Master Plan contact page. The university will accept comments until the end of the quarter.
Correction: The first map showing the agricultural land that would be covered up if Master Plan proposals went through was incorrect. The photo has been corrected and has been added to this section of the post.
Note: Some of the agricultural land mentioned here is no longer being considered for use by the Master Plan. Click here to learn more.