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Sasaki evaluates the campus

April 19th, 2007

Representatives from Sasaki Associates, Inc. discussed suggestions for John Carroll University’s Master Plan on April 12, mentioning vast improvements in residence halls and athletic complexes.

Kathryn Madden, a principal from Sasaki Associates, told the crowd that Sasaki has now pulled all material together about the JCU campus. “Now, our next step is to ask if this is what John Carroll really wants,” she said. “We want to know if we are right, and what alternatives there are that we should possibly look at.”

The first thing Madden discussed was space utilization. All assigned space, such as classrooms, labs, offices, athletic complexes, the student center and the library were evaluated.

According to Madden, JCU has the right number of classrooms in relation to the number of students. However, she said, “Faculty have expressed concern about the way the classrooms are shaped and set-up.”

Labs are both a strong and weak point for the University. While Dolan Science Center contains more teaching and resource labs needed for the sciences, the quality and existence of media and language labs are lacking.

Madden addressed the fact that offices on campus are very small. “We noticed that many of the offices contain no windows,” she said.

An evaluation of the Grasselli Library brought mixed reviews. While Sasaki thought the library space may not be adequate, no major complaints from students or faculty emerged. An examination of other universities comparable to JCU indicated that the facility is adequate.

However, later in the meeting, several staff members of Grasselli Library voiced the opinion that space in the library is restricted. It was brought up that students are in need of more group study space. Madden said that this could be taken into consideration.

Athletic facilities were one of the areas that Sasaki noted needed the most improvement. Locker rooms, the Auxiliary Gym and the wrestling room were mentioned as facilities in need of being updated or expanded.

However, as Madden mentioned, “John Carroll is surrounded by a community, so land to build new facilities is scarce.”

Madden made a point of saying John Carroll has more space than needed. Still she said, “This space in buildings and land must be utilized to the fullest.”