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Shepherd focusing on student recruitment in master plan

January 06, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — A key point of a proposed, 10-year master plan for Shepherd University is an effort to recruit more students to live on campus.

One goal would increase the number of students living on campus to half of the school’s student population. Currently, about 30 percent live in dormitories.

John M. Sherwood, chairman of the 19-member master facility planning committee, said the committee needs to figure how the campus might look in the years ahead. The committee consists of faculty, students and members of the community.

It will hold public meetings in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies on Wednesday from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m., 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

University President Suzanne Shipley said the school hired Robert M. Stern Architects of New York City to lead the committee and validate the plan once it’s completed. The architect will set a timeline for phasing in the changes and costs of the plan.

According to the firm’s website, its 250 architects specialize in major projects, including academic and government structures, libraries, resorts, office buildings and health care facilities.

The university budgeted $400,000 to develop the master plan. It’s mandated by the state, but no state funds are being offered to defray the cost.

Shepherd has to submit its campus development plan to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission by June 30.

Sherwood said committee members met in the fall to come up with ideas for consideration. The plan’s mantra is “better, not bigger,” he said.

Among topics for consideration are ways to increase the percentage of students living on campus to decrease the number of students living in town.

Other topics include parking, traffic flow, protection and use of historical campus buildings and the impact on the main campus stemming from the opening of Shepherd’s new Martinsburg Center.

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