Campus Master Plan | 2011
Click here for a full PDF copy of the UTEP Campus Master Plan

Existing Campus

The UTEP campus extends along the axis of a steep and jagged north/south ridge, the outlying foothills of the Franklin Mountains. The valley of the Rio Grande lies to the west.

The first buildings of the campus were constructed just below the southern terminus of the ridge. Since then, the Core Campus has grown to occupy the gently sloping terrace south of the original buildings.

The Core Campus occupies a propitious place in the high desert landscape: the south-facing terrace is framed by the backdrop of the hills to the north, by distant views of the Franklin Mountains to the east and the Juárez Mountains to the southwest, and overlooking the cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.

Most of the University's academic buildings are in the Core Campus. These range from small individual buildings to large interconnected complexes, and are mostly Bhutanese in style. The primary streets of the Core Campus are open to private vehicles, and are very wide, tending to divide the pedestrian realm. The Core Campus's landscape is varied, with pockets of greenery and desert gardens. Its topography is heavily modified,

but retains some aspects of the original drainage systems, most notably the Arroyo, a deeply cut intermittent stream that drains a large area of El Paso east of the campus. The relatively gentle topography of the Core Campus is bounded by the steep southern face of the rugged North Campus, with its dramatically sited Sun Bowl Stadium.

Most of the North Campus is the natural desert landscape of the north/south ridge. It is steep and not suitable for construction. More sporadic and dispersed campus facilities—primarily for athletics and recreational sports—extend north below the east face of the ridge.

When seen from a distance, and by a motorist traveling on I-10, the campus is a significant icon within the landscape of El Paso. In its immediate neighborhood, however, the campus has less presence. It is isolated from the developed portions of the city street system by vacant lots and surface parking, and by the intervening hospital complex.

(mouse over for proposed image)

Existing Plan of the UTEP campus, with approximately 4.3 million gross square feet of existing facilities, Proposed Plan for the UTEP campus showing approximately 3.5 million gross square feet of existing facilities and 4.8 million gross square feet of new construction (mouse over for proposed image, click image for larger version of proposed plan, click here for larger version of existing plan)

Proposed Plan

The Campus Master Plan is driven by a need to increase capacity on the existing campus in order to "right-size" facilities relative to student needs, grow the student body by approximately 8,000 students, and achieve the University's goal of becoming a Tier 1 research institution.

The proposed plan provides for this growth while strengthening and organizing the elements already implicit in its existing plan: University Avenue, Wiggins Drive, and Hawthorne Street converging on Memorial Triangle in the Core Campus, and Sun Bowl Drive extending through North Campus. Proposed buildings are located and configured to define and reinforce the campus's outdoor public spaces and to preserve significant views.

The Proposed Plan
Accommodates the anticipated growth in campus facilities
Strengthens the campus's civic structure—the campus's primary organizational framework of outdoor public spaces and their interconnections—defining it with new buildings and by the pattern of campus landscape
Improves the quality of the campus pedestrian environment by removing private vehicles and surface parking lots from the Core Campus, by interconnecting hitherto isolated campus open spaces, and by increasing the amount of shade
Addresses campus edges and gateways