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

Existing Core Campus

In contrast to many American campuses, the core of the UTEP campus is not dominated by large, tree-shaded quadrangles. Its character derives instead from its dramatic topography; from the unique and consistent architectural style of its buildings; from its relatively small spaces, shaded by buildings and vegetation; and from its utilization of a combination of desert and irrigated vegetation.

All the streets in the campus core are currently shared by private vehicles, service vehicles, and pedestrians. Most of these streets are very wide and incorporate diagonal or perpendicular parking. Due to their excessive width and vehicular character, they divide the campus core into separate zones. Within these zones, additional surface parking lots interrupt the continuity of the pedestrian path system, and do much to create a hot and barren pedestrian environment.

Many individual outdoor spaces in the campus core are quite beautiful, yet they tend to be disconnected from each other by irregular topography and by intervening spaces lacking in

architectural definition, with underdeveloped landscape. One's impression of the campus is one of numerous discrete places, differing in character and not linked together to form a greater whole.

The Arroyo, an intermittent stream originating in the Franklin Mountains, runs through the campus, crossing through open spaces and under buildings. It is both an asset—enhancing one's appreciation of regional hydrology and ecosystems—and a problem—buildings that cross the arroyo restrict its flow and are prone to flooding. The Arroyo currently suffers from a lack of maintenance engendered by its inaccessibility.

(mouse over for proposed image)

Existing and Proposed Plans of the UTEP Core Campus (mouse over for proposed image, click image for larger version of proposed plan, click here for larger version of existing plan)

Proposed Core Campus

The master plan enhances the strongest aspects of the campus—its unique architectural style, its combination of desert and irrigated landscape, and the importance of smaller shaded courtyards and interstitial spaces—while in addition creating a coherent and continuous pedestrian environment.

The green space at the center of campus—Memorial Triangle—is expanded, given definition by architecture and landscape, and regraded to allow it to serve a wider range of uses. Wiggins Drive, Hawthorne Street, and University Avenue are converted to pedestrian streets. The width of their paving is narrowed, shade is provided by overhead canopies and vegetation, and they are
given architectural definition by new buildings and loggias. These streets will become connectors, linking the campus districts on either side.

Interstitial campus spaces within the districts between the primary pedestrian streets are interconnected by the removal of intervening parking lots and by new, more continuous pedestrian path systems.

The Arroyo will become a linear park, threaded through campus, incorporating bike paths and bike trails where possible. Proposed campus buildings will face the Arroyo, rather than cross it.