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Campus Framework Plan



Part 1. Introduction


The Gustavus Adolphus Framework Plan is the result of a planning process that began in the fall of 1994.  The title Framework Plan was specifically selected to differentiate this current planning process from a traditionally more restrictive or prescriptive Master Plan.  A Framework Plan locates circulation networks, open space networks and building development zones, while a Master Plan locates specific building sites.  The Framework Planning process incorporated three types of planning: strategic planning, facility planning, and campus planning.  Strategic planning included such topics as established institutional goals, academic priorities and enrollment projections.  Facility planning included previously completed architectural programming, space utilization studies and facility feasibility studies. The third component, Campus Planning, was the focus of the 1994 effort.  It involved examining land use patterns, open space networks, circulation systems, utility infrastructure, and then testing and evaluating development options.

The College determined there was a need to update the Framework Plan in the fall of 2001 in response to numerous campus changes during the intervening seven years.  The most important drivers included campus development in response to the March 1998 tornado destruction, increasing student enrollment and changes to academic and student life programs.


The 2001 Framework Plan Update involved the review and input of a steering committee that represented all facets of the College.  Members included:


Warren Beck, Chair

Mark Dumke

Steve Linder

Christy Morse

Cathy Waldhauser


Max Hailperin, Mathematics/Computer Science

Debra Pitton, Education

Tim Robinson, Psychology


Axel Steuer (ex officio), President

Al Molde, Athletics

John Mosbo, Academic Affairs

Brenda Moore, Institutional Advancement

Hank Toutain, Student Affairs

Warren Wunderlich, Physical Plant


Jayne Sommers

Toby Stalter

The work process followed three steps.  The first was to identify the mission, goals and objectives of the College for the Framework Plan.  The second was to document and analyze conditions as they exist today.  The third was to propose development options, evaluate them against the goals and objectives, and document the decisions.

Diagrams of existing conditions were prepared based on the previous Framework Plan, site visits and interviews with Gustavus faculty and staff.


The Framework Plan has been assembled in a three-ring looseleaf format to facilitate periodic updates.  The College anticipates that the plan will be updated every five years, or as conditions warrant. 

The Framework Plan document is organized into four sections:

Section I: Executive Summary

Section II: Analysis and Documentation of Conditions

Section III: Framework Plan Design

Section IV: Appendix
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Part 2. Framework Plan Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives

Mission Statement:

“This Framework Plan exists as a physical blueprint for the College, both currently and prospectively.  It seeks to integrate the Focus on Excellence Report and the College mission into the near and long-term development of College property and facilities.

The Framework Plan’s expression of the College mission focuses on the goals of the Focus on Excellence Report while being mindful of opportunities for the longer term.  In this, it builds on the distinctive natural features, constructed assets and valued traditions of the College as it seeks to create an environment that enriches the experience of the entire college community.”

Goals and Objectives

Ellerbe Becket held a kick-off meeting with members of the Framework Plan Steering Committee.  The committee identified the following general goals and objectives and more specific planning criteria in order to establish criteria against which the Framework Plan could be measured.

  • Provide a framework for future campus development
  • Establish a long-term view
  • Reflect the College mission
  • Emphasize relationships between church and institution
  • Be broad-ranging in approach, not focused on a single issue
  • Reflect consensus
  • Reflect current enrollment
  • Reflect the College academic and strategic plans
  • Accommodate periodic updates
  • Be flexible
  • Be concrete
  • Be financially responsible
  • Address Collegeand community relationships
  • Address the future growth of the city

Campus Planning Criteria:

  • Enhance views of Christ Chapel.  Use Christ Chapel as the armature for future development
  • Reinforce the role of Old Main as the ceremonial entry vista of the campus
  • Clarify campus image, identity and way-finding
  • Strengthen accessibility to public venues
  • Maintain a pedestrian campus
  • Concentrate small, landscaped parking lots and service traffic on the periphery
  • Maintain campus compactness and convenience
  • Preserve and foster bluff-top views
  • Utilize playing fields as a buffer zone to community development
  • Maintain the Arboretum as academic open space
  • Ensure that new development and building materials are harmonious with adjacent buildings
  • Promote environmental responsibility and minimize energy use

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Part 3. Campus Development Program

The Steering Committee confirmed the following program of proposed Campus Capital Priorities.

  • New residence halls with capacity for 90% of the student body
  • Wahlstrom renovation/redevelopment
  • Old Main Renovation
  • New Academic Building/Social Science renovation/redevelopment
  • Prairie View beds replacement
  • New football field/Stadium
  • Schaefer performance and rehearsal space addition
  • North/Link/Sorenson renovation
  • Parking lot expansion
  • Playing field reconfiguration and expansion
  • Storm water retention pond development
  • Arboretum expansion into “ Gardner 80 acres
  • South Mall redevelopment

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Part 4: Recommendations

The original 1994 options for North and West Campus Development have been combined and revised into the current three options for interior campus development. For maximum flexibility, these options include three alternatives for developing the West Mall.  Each option has merit and current conditions do not require narrowing to one specific alternative. The Steering Committee recommends the adoption of a combination or adaptation of the three options contained in Section 3 of this document.

All options propose extending the West Mall as an open space to organize new building development zones.  A new pedestrian walk would encircle the campus.  Academic expansion and redevelopment on the South Mall would take place around Anderson Social Science Center, Confer/Vickner Halls and Nobel Hall of Science.  There would be a major expansion to Schaefer Fine Arts Center for a concert hall and new teaching and practice facilities.

Residential development supports the goal of having 90% of students reside on campus.  The options focus on redeveloping Wahlstrom Hall, determining the best use for Prairie View Hall, and adding variety to the mix of housing choices by strengthening a residential neighborhood on the west side of campus. The president’s residence would be relocated on the east side of campus on Seventh Avenue .

All three options for consolidation and expansion of the Athletic/Recreational fields and Stadium continue the close relationship between the Stadium and the campus core. The Stadium sites all offer views of the campus and of Christ Chapel, an important connection for commencement services. The playing fields are consolidated near Lund Center in order to create a convenient and central location for students.  The Shops and Physical Plant facilities are consolidated next to Swanson Tennis Center .

There is a renewed focus on open spaces around campus. All three options enable the expansion of the Arboretum onto the “ Gardner 80 Acres,” consistent with the original Arboretum Master Plan. New campus malls and plazas create gathering places, links between buildings, and focal points. Overall, the recommendations work toward the goal of a stronger residential campus with a comfortable and inviting environment for faculty, staff and students alike.

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