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Description of the MU Master Plan

What is MU’s comprehensive master plan?

Master planning is a guiding process to help us as we consider buildings and land use.

Planning and development of MU’s campus is a function of the mission of the university and the learning, research and living needs of the campus community.

The goal of the comprehensive master plan (CMP) is to support MU’s institutional priorities and strategies through sustainable building and landscape construction, maintenance, renovation, infrastructure to ensure the creation of a unified, beautiful and efficient environment that is both inviting to students and enhances the university’s [land-grant] mission of teaching, research, public service and economic development.

MU’s unique approach to master planning began in the early 1980s when it pioneered the idea of an annual update to its physical plan. MU campus master planning is based on Design Principles that help guide future development.  Although the comprehensive master plan is based firmly on these principles, it remains flexible to allow for a continually changing campus. The university will build on its accomplishments over the past 35 years in campus planning and work toward making the university’s physical plant even more efficient and attractive.

How does it support the mission of the University?

The University of Missouri is dedicated to stewardship at the educational, environmental and fiscal levels.  This commitment originates from MU’s mission of teaching, research, public service and economic development, and all efforts undertaken in the master plan seek to further and support these goals.

Stewardship Model

The Mizzou Stewardship Model addresses deferred maintenance by using Education and General facility maintenance allocations wisely to complete renovations that bring buildings up to current life safety and ADA codes while providing state-of-the-art facilities for today’s academic community.

This model eliminated $56.7 million of deferred maintenance in six academic buildings while adding 412 classroom seats, 232 STEM class lab stations, almost 40,000 gross square feet of additional space and improved collaboration/study areas by repurposing previously unusable space due to the condition.

What are the design principles?

The University has adopted initiatives around campus stewardship, sustainability, stormwater management, energy management and landscape that have shaped the way Mizzou constructs buildings, open space and infrastructure. The Design Principles are intended to reflect these initiatives, to support and sustain MU’s mission of learning, and to promote MU’s stewardship model.

The Design Principles also guide the project design teams on civic-design scale decisions with an eye to the community context and larger campus composition and goals, focusing primarily on the interrelationships of buildings and landscape and their support systems.  They also hope to foster a balance between guidelines and creativity.

The Design Principles are organized into three major sections: Project Orientation, Project and Landscape Character, and Architectural Character and address:

  • Use, modification, demolition and/or construction of buildings;
  • Purpose, size, function and location of new facilities;
  • Campus landscape components;
  • Campus vehicular and pedestrian circulation, and parking networks;
  • Changes proposed for remedying deficiencies and serving new development; and
  • University, neighborhood and community land use, ownership, restrictions and circulation patterns.

What is the process?

The University of Missouri’s comprehensive master planning and development are accomplished through an ongoing participatory process that began in 1981 and is administered by Campus Facilities.  This participatory process helps maximize planning and design flexibility to respond to changing needs.

Under the direction of the Chancellor, a shared governance structure clearly defines three official committees that meet regularly to help guide the master planning process.

  • Campus Facilities Planning Committee: An advisory committee for the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Operations to provide recommendations concerning campus land use related to capital projects following MU Design Principles.
  • Campus Space Utilization Committee: An advisory committee for the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Operations to provide recommendations concerning campus space use following MU Space Planning Principles.
  • Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Committee: An advisory committee for the Vice Chancellor for Operations on issues concerning campus environmental, social and economic sustainability as it relates to operations and planning.

Additionally, the Architectural Review Committee is an advisory committee to Campus Facilities on MU’s collaborative design process.

These committees and other campus stakeholders involved in the planning process support institutional goals and objectives while interactively planning facilities, landscape and infrastructure to achieve an all-important sense of place.

What are comprehensive master plan objectives?

The comprehensive master plan is a frequently updated guide to campus development and a manifestation of the university’s mission, values and goals.

The comprehensive master plan is comprised of many objectives including:

  • Making certain that the physical campus positively contributes to the learning and research environment of the university
  • Careful land planning to ensure campus resources for future generations of learners
  • Siting future academic and non-academic facilities throughout the campus
  • Determining overall design parameters for new projects, including accessibility, landscape, infrastructure, and pedestrian and vehicular circulation
  • Efficient use of existing facilities through renovation or redevelopment
  • Managing the environmental impacts of campus activities, operations and services

Current MU master plan illustrative

Updated regularly, the illustrative drawing chronicles campus projects recently completed, in design or construction, and in planning and also denote project type (Education and General, Auxiliary or Utility) and whether the University is seeking LEED for these projects.  The illustrative drawing shows these improvements in the context of existing buildings, landscapes, pathways, roadways and parking areas.  Also within this frame, locations for possible future structures are identified.