Newcomers to Xavier aren’t always sure when they’re treading on campus property. As the campus has evolved, its boundaries have often become indistinguishable from the surrounding neighborhoods. The University’s looking to fix that, though. And more. This summer the University hired the Boston-based design firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott to prepare a master campus plan that brings together old property and new purchases, current structures and future dreams.
“This is historic,” says Richard Hirté, senior vice president for financial administration. “We’re saying we’ll make prudent use of our campus, and as opportunities present themselves, we’ll capitalize on them.”
The plan is needed for a number of reasons. Following the recent purchases of several adjacent properties, the campus is now 146 acres—compared to 80 in 1983. There are more staff, students and buildings, and the academic and technological goals are heightened. All these combine to demand a much different kind of campus.
So planners are assembling three plans, one of which is being presented to the board of trustees in September. Among the possibilities: a grand entrance with a fountain and archways, a hotel and commercial development near Montgomery Road, a new dormitory and more housing for upper-level students, the high-tech academic quadrangle, plus improved signage identifying Xavier and better pedestrian and traffic flow in and through campus.