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

Purpose, Process & Vision

Aerial view of the long-range vision for the UTEP campus (click image for larger version)


THE PURPOSE OF A MASTER PLAN

The University of Texas at El Paso is at a critical juncture in its history. Plans to increase the student population in order to better serve the El Paso community, coinciding with a drive to achieve national research university status, will have dramatic effects on the shape and character of the campus.

The Campus Master Plan is an opportunity to consider the facilities growth that must accompany these changes as part of a holistic assessment of the UTEP campus. The Plan addresses the anticipated needs of near-term capital projects within a long-range strategic framework for development directed toward improving the quality of campus life.

The Plan is primarily concerned with the campus's public realm. Recommendations for the placement of new facilities and the improvement of campus infrastructure are guided by their impact on public space, connectivity, amenity and convenience, and on the University's symbolic presence within the City of El Paso.

The Plan is a strategic guide for additions and improvements to the University's physical environment. It does not attempt to solve all problems for all times, but rather contains organizing principles and an overall strategy for the development of the campus that will give it the flexibility to accommodate shifts in priorities and academic mission.

At the heart of the Campus Master Plan is the proposed civic structure—the interconnected arrangement of the campus's primary corridors and open spaces. It is this structure—the quadrangles, courtyards, plazas, streets, and walks—that provides the most memorable components of the campus and provides the framework to guide the placement and design of its buildings. The proposed civic structure gives the campus the flexibility to accommodate growth while improving and strengthening the campus's public realm.

The Campus Master Plan will be implemented incrementally over a long number of years. It is recommended that projects that are achievable with relatively little expenditure, such as street enhancements and the installation of gateways at campus entrances, be completed in the near-term to provide immediate enhancement of the campus's public realm and to generate enthusiasm for the improvement of the campus.

THE MASTER PLANNING PROCESS

The Campus Master Plan is the product of a yearlong collaboration between the planning team and the University. In fall 2009, Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects and Michael Dennis & Associates were selected to develop the Campus Master Plan for The University of Texas at El Paso campus.

The planning process began with an Observation and Analysis phase in March 2010, during which the planning team conducted reconnaissance of the campus and surrounding area, gathered available campus data, and held briefings with the University administration, faculty, staff and students. Findings were presented in summer 2010, and goals were established for the plan.

In the fall of 2010, the planning team developed alternative solutions to different parts of the campus and the campus as a whole. Through monthly workshops with the University administration, faculty, staff and students, alternatives were reviewed and refined, culminating in a preferred alternative in February 2011, to be finalized in a published booklet and website in fall 2011.

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

The UTEP campus represents the ideal of the University, its academic and social values, and its commitment to excellence. As the University grows, expanding its student body and increasing its emphasis on research and postgraduate education, the form and quality of its campus will reflect this vision.

The Master Plan envisions a richly varied campus. In part a pedestrian oasis and in part a desert garden, the campus will offer places for reflection and study and for exuberant gatherings. It will be connected to and part of the surrounding city, yet distinct in character. It will be a part of the powerful regional landscape, its topography and vegetation adapted to serve human needs for community, comfort, and beauty.

The public realm of the campus—its streets, shaded paths and loggias, gardens, quadrangles, open overlooks connecting out to distant views, and the public spaces of its buildings—will help to ensure that the University is a place of social connections, exchange, and awareness that life and action takes place within a multiplicity of social, physical, and environmental contexts. The UTEP campus will remain a repository of memory and tradition, connecting current students and faculty with those of the past and the future.