The St. Olaf College Framework Plan is the result of a planning process conducted in the fall of 1995 and the winter and spring of 1996. During that time, the college had confirmed a major donor for a new student center which, when built, had the potential to affect the logistics of many campus patterns. In addition, the college was preparing to start a major capital campaign, and had appointed a Campus Facilities Planning Task Force (CFPTF) to identify space needs on campus, and which needs would be included as capital projects. Additionally, the college was starting a strategic planning process which would be completed concurrently with the framework plan. These conditions, combined with other campus-wide issues, such as parking needs, habitat restoration projects, and evolving land use patterns in the city of Northfield, Rice County, and Dakota County, created an opportunity to incorporate the physical components of the various planning activites into a single, comprehensive, campus physical plan. The term Framework Plan is used to differentiate this particular planning process from a traditional master planning process. While a master plan generally stipulates only building sites, the Framework Plan locates circulation networks, open space networks, and building development zones, and integrates them with curricular and other program oriented functions. This plan strives to be flexible by documenting multiple solutions which can be mixed and matched and implemented sequentially rather than determining a single solution. The Framework Plan is process oriented, and involves as many stakeholders as feasible. The St. Olaf Framework Plan incorporates three types of planning: strategic planning, facility planning, and campus planning. Strategic planning includes such issues as institutional goals, academic priorities, and enrollment trends. The strategic plan was unavailable at the time this framework planning process began at St. Olaf, although previous planning documents, reports, evaluations, a Discovery Workshop, and other tools were used to provide strategic plan input. To obtain facility planning information, in-progress facility planning reports from the CFPTF were evaluated. These reports included the (at that time) possible campaign projects of: a new student center; facilities for science and mathematics; an art/museum building; a renovation of the St. Olaf Center; and a technology building. Three non-campaign studies were looked at as well, and these included: the music facilities, an ice arena, and a renovation of Boe Chapel. The third component, campus planning, was the primary focus of the framework planning work effort. The resulting plan identified physical characteristics of the St. Olaf campus as planning tenets, or principles, against which development options could be evluated. Existing land use patterns, open space networks, circulation systems, and utility infrastructure were examined. Development options were explored, tested, and evaluated. Many options were eliminated. Those options which reinforced the campus principles and were supported by the concensus of the stakeholders, have become the body of the Framework Plan.
framework plan page | previous master plans | executive summary
process | goals and objectives | planning principles
development/greenbelt | road options | building options
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