An on-campus stadium, more housing options and further improvements to midtown are all factors considered in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ proposed campus master plan, set to reach the Board of Regents in November.
David Frommer, UNLV executive director of planning and construction, said physical campus master plans are typically re-evaluated every decade, and UNLV is approaching that mark.
"Our last plan was initiated in 2004, and we’re coming up on that 10-year period," Frommer said. "Back then, we had the plans for Greenspun (Hall), the new Student Union and the recreational center. It’s come time to reassess the campus as a whole."
UNLV hosted its first four open houses in April, inviting students, faculty, staff and community members to view proposed plans and give feedback.
Plans include a large events center and stadium on campus aside from Sam Boyd Stadium and the Thomas & Mack Center. They also feature a university village on the west part of campus, which would add student housing options, a transit center and making Midtown UNLV a core part of campus.
"As a public university, we want to invite people and connect them to the university," Frommer said. "With Midtown, we’re looking at the community beyond UNLV and the relationship between the residents and the university. We want to create a great area in Vegas where they can have that sense of community."
Part of the building continuation with Midtown, Frommer said, includes bringing in and establishing relationships with nearby businesses. Decreasing business turnover in the areas near campus is something that planning and construction officials hope to tackle once plans reach the construction phases.
Another factor that UNLV officials must take into consideration is the university’s close proximity to McCarran International Airport, according to Cherie Garrity, UNLV real estate manager.
"Some of the land (near UNLV) is owned by the Clark County Department of Aviation, and we need some acquisition of that land for the campus master plan as a whole," Garrity said. "There are a lot of restrictions because of the airport (nearby), and we need (the Department of Aviation’s) input."
Garrity said the plan is a collaborative effort that involved working with the aviation, transportation and other campus departments. Accommodating students and visitors who use various means of transportation is something Garrity believes is worth taking into consideration.
"We’re working with the Regional Transportation Commission for a transit center on campus," Garrity said. "We’d like to have bike lockers, and we see a lot of opportunity with that for our students. We hope to be expanding that role of the campus."
Frommer said transportation and incorporating the community into the UNLV campus are two factors that play into the campus master plan. Possibly building an on-campus stadium is another.
"Instead of having an off-campus stadium where we can fit (40,000) people, we could have a 50,000- to 55,000-person stadium that gives an opportunity not only for football but for mega events for the entire community," Frommer said. "It’s a matter of, ‘Can we see our university get to the next level with something like this?’ "
It’s these suggestions and others that planning and construction officials have made and from which Frommer hopes to draw community feedback. Comments from students, residents and alumni, he said, are vital components to creating master plans.
"(Community) feedback impacts what we do in order to make our development cohesive," Frommer said. "It’s very important to hear from people on campus and off campus, and we want to hear all of it. Some may be spoken directly to the campus development, and some may just be good to hear."
More open houses regarding to campus master plan are in the works for the fall. For more information, call 895-2500 or visit tinyurl.com/unlvplan.
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Lisa Carter at email@example.com or 383-4686.