Michigan Tech approves new campus master plan; includes facility upgrades, new residence hall, more

What’s happening: Extensive renovations of Michigan Technological University’s existing classrooms and laboratories highlight phase one of a new master plan, a guiding document that gives shape to the school’s strategy for growth into the year 2035 and beyond. The Michigan Tech master plan was unanimously approved by the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees on Friday, Oct. 7.

What it is: Much in the way that a city crafts a master plan to help guide development priorities for the next decade or two, Michigan Tech’s newly approved master plan provides a framework for campus improvements through at least 2035. It is by no means set in stone; individual projects must still receive Board approval and modifications to the plan may be made as time and circumstances dictate.

What’s in it: Making improvements to existing classrooms and laboratories was a priority identified by students and faculty alike, pushing renovation projects to the top of the list. Additional significant developments found in the master plan include the construction of the Center for Convergence and Innovation, where both the College of Business and College of Computing will be housed under the same roof. That plays into the school’s strategy of meeting the demands of Industry 4.0, the term for advanced manufacturing companies that incorporate 21st century technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), automation, the Internet of Things, and more. The master plan also calls for a new residence hall to be built on the school’s Houghton campus, improved outdoor and public spaces, better engaging the waterfront, and more.

Click HERE to view the complete Michigan Tech campus master plan.

Who shaped it: Michigan Tech hired long-time partner SmithGroup to craft the plan; SmithGroup has been working with the school since 1966, when it created Michigan Tech’s very first master plan. Community input sessions played a key role in shaping the plan, which included stakeholder listening sessions, student life and campus-wide surveys, a virtual town hall, online forum, and meetings of the MTU steering and advisory committees.

What they’re saying: “Our plan calls for smart, measured enrollment growth that responds to both the increasing number of students wanting to enroll and the enthusiasm from employers who hire our graduates,” says John Lehman, vice president for university relations and enrollment. “This plan includes considerations to expand on-campus housing in the same smart, measured manner.”
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