Consulting the Commonwealth's Division of Capital Asset Management, the University Planning Committee's Focus Group on Facilities developed requests for proposals to outline the scope of the master planning work effort. Proposals were received from over twenty planning firms (including the most respected planning firms in the Commonwealth), and the Commonwealth's Designer Selection Board, with input from campus representatives, chose Chan Krieger to be the winning firm. Chan Krieger is an architectural and design firm with extensive experience in higher education.
The evaluation criteria for this effort were:
- The master plan will include a complete inventory and assessment of all buildings and grounds of the campus with an evaluation of their existing conditions, including a site survey, a complete assessment of each building on campus, a hazardous materials survey if needed, and a description and condition of building systems (mechanical, electrical, HVAC, telephone systems, fire alarm, emergency generator, etc.). This assessment will include inspection deficiencies and projected repair or replacement costs and will be provided in a relational database consistent with systems in use on the campus.
- The master plan will provide an evaluation of the space planning needs of the campus, assessing needs for long-range projected enrollments and program development, including Continuing Education. There will be a clear understanding of where growth will occur and the projected impact of that growth. The analysis requires a thorough understanding of academic programs that addresses instructional, research, and laboratory needs and computer hardware and software usage. The consultant will identify and evaluate campus space management policies in comparison to peer institutions. Off-campus facilities will be factored into this evaluation: the New Bedford Star Store arts facility, the Marine Science and Technology buildings, the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center, and the continuing education center in Fall River.
- The consultant firm will document the existing conditions of the landscape design and determine new or revised standards that will reinforce the intent of the original landscape design.
- The master plan will provide a development strategy for deferred maintenance to ensure the maximum longevity for building systems. The campus is interested in incorporating use of renewable resources in maintaining its buildings. Sustainability will be incorporated in standards and strategies as applicable.
- An ADA compliance survey will be completed that identifies each area of a building that does not meet current ADA compliance standards. Programmatic and physical alterations to address ADA issues will be costed and recommended in the final master plan.
- Traffic and parking problems are significant on the main campus. For example, there are continuous conflicts between pedestrian and vehicular traffic flows. The master plan will coordinate parking studies, traffic studies, and growth plans to develop a comprehensive traffic and parking plan.
- Campus security and safety is compromised in some cases because of aesthetic design elements. The Master Plan will identify these areas and find solutions that maintain design intent while ensuring strong security. The master plan will recommend a comprehensive signage/wayfinding approach to external and internal signage. Current standards must be revised to meet current needs and growth challenges.
- The master plan will recommend architectural design guidelines to establish a programmatic basis for future buildings and alterations. Future development sites will be recommended and a palette of acceptable design elements will be delineated.