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The University Physical Master Plan and Athletics: What's that by the RAC?

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Where and how will the University build over the next decade or two? And does it account for athletics in any way? Well, maaaay-be!

Rutgers University

If no one consulted with C. Vivian Stringer about the University Master Plan, well, that explains a lot about her recent comments leading up to the NCAA Tournament.  In that post-practice interview, she said - out loud - what everyone here has been thinking and saying about facilities.  But that's for another article....soon.

We've spent a good deal of time here...and here...and here...and here talking about facilities.  We've also talked about the feasibility study being undertaken by the Athletic Department, a study that, as I see it, would create its own master plan for facility development.

But in the interim, the University has done the same, developing a Physical Master Plan, its first since 2003.  You can see a PowerPoint that was presented to the Board of Governors on February 3, a document that I'll use in this post.  It is a plan that, theoretically, will guide the University over the next 15-20 years.

A big part of the plan calls for the creation of transit hubs and more open space connecting campuses, to create a more intimate campus life that puts students, classes, and services in closer proximity to each other.  It would create, if not a more walkable campus, a more pedestrian/bike rider-friendly campus.  And while it would keep the vast bus system, it would make it more user-friendly.  "We need to reinvent Rutgers bus system," said Antonio Calcado, vice president for facilities and capital planning.

So, what does that Master Plan have in it, and how does it impact athletics?  Well, specifically nothing that is on the PowerPoint.  And that's probably okay, since this is a broadly conceptualized road map.  And there is the Athletic feasibility study still coming.  But the renderings are interesting to consider.

Look at the area near the RAC.  The buildings in red would be new construction.  But, again considering these are just ideas and renderings of what could be, look at the RAC itself as well as what looks like fields and a track. The RAC has an addition and the track and other fields, well, they moved!

Look more closely. There are seven "new" buildings in the immediate area of the RAC, and none appear to be related to athletics. And the research park, for example, is not that far fetched, as noted in a NJBIZ article.  One could be a hotel/conference center.

There is, though, that addition to the front of the RAC....hmmmm.  But where did the track go...and why?

Officially, there is no plan for any addition to the RAC.  And the Master Plan is more or less a guide with a lot of ideas and speculation.  But it does look like it is considering, at least to a degree, athletics and specifically the RAC.  Somebody is thinking about athletics.

We'll take another look at some other aspects of the Master Plan in a future piece.  But for now, it does seem that there may be some hope that at some point, we may see Julie's "cranes in the air".