Special to Mustang News
What will Cal Poly look like in 20 years? At an event in the atrium of Kennedy library on Thursday, students, staff, faculty and the San Luis Obispo community were invited to express their ideas about multiple versions of conceptual maps made as part of Cal Poly’s master plan update.
The interactive event was a part of the engagement step of the plan’s process. The master plan website provides a place where people can share their ideas, but the event offered a chance for people to express their concerns in a more hands-on way. With master plan committee members scattered around to explain and answer questions, people wrote down their concerns on sticky notes to place on poster-sized maps on the glass walls.
The draft master plan goals list includes:
- Enhancing learn by doing — outdoor and indoor
- More diverse students, faculty and staff
- More students living on campus
- More vibrant evening and weekend activities
- Compact, cross-disciplinary academic campus core
- Modal shift (pedestrian, bike, transit and car)
- Environmental sustainability
- Phased growth to north
Though the goals address various elements of the campus community, the proposed conceptual maps revolve around one key component: Development.
“This is really a planning exercise that essentially tells me: When there is money, what do we want to use it for?” Campus Planner Julie Moloney explained. “It certainly does not set out a path to get that money, but we’re working closely with advancement in order to prioritize our development.”
In terms of where the money will come from, she hopes that the state will renew its interest in higher education.
“But we’re looking pretty robustly at potential donations and private-public partnerships,” she said.
Some ideas include creating new recreational areas, open space, campus dining locations, faculty, staff, graduate and student housing and replacing Mott Athletics Center. Bigger ideas like creating a business center, arena, hotel and conference center sparked much discussion over what would happen to existing facilities that might be built over.
A significant amount of students, faculty and community members shared their concerns over building new developments over land that is currently being used everyday as educational space for agricultural students.
“They don’t understand how much of the learn by doing for Ag kids this would take away,” horticulture and crop science sophomore Kevin Campos said. “Almost all of our labs are out in these orchards.”
Not only are the current uses of many of these areas key to Cal Poly’s Learn By Doing philosophy, but students and faculty also come specifically to work on these agricultural lands.
“If they get rid of it, there’s not even going to be enough work for as many students who work out there now,” Campos said.