Wednesday October 22, 2008

Guide for the Future

University of Dayton officials presented the campus master plan to the Dayton City Commission today and thanked city officials for being a partner in the redevelopment of the southern edge of the city.

University of Dayton officials today shared highlights of an ambitious campus master plan and thanked the Dayton City Commission for a collaborative working relationship that has helped spur campus growth and redevelopment on Brown Street and the Fairgrounds neighborhood.

Since 2002, the University of Dayton has acquired 50 acres of dormant land from NCR and expended more than $150 million on renovation and construction on its 259-acre campus.  UD worked with city officials to secure two Clean Ohio grants to clean up the brownfield portions of the site and prepare it for development.

"When I look back over the relationship between the University of Dayton and the city of Dayton, it's always been a close one," said Daniel J. Curran, president, citing the Genesis Project in the Fairgrounds neighborhood, the renaissance of Brown Street with new restaurants, shops and student housing, and the construction of a new Stewart Street bridge. "You have helped the University stay vibrant during challenging times in higher education."

Richard Perales, University campus planning director, said the master plan addresses learning, worship, recreation and green space.  The largest expansion in UD's history proposes a University Center for the Arts on Brown Street; an expanded Immaculate Conception Chapel; a sustainability residence hall; a library renovation; a new student union; a campus-wide bike path; student housing; parking; and mixed-used developments, particularly along the Great Miami River.  The projects will be funded by private support, University funds and public-private partnerships.  Some projects are planned for the next five years; others are long-range developments.

"Our master plan is a guide, a road map, a living document," Perales told commissioners.

Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin praised the University of Dayton for its leadership in economic development efforts in the Dayton region.  "Who would have thought seven years ago that Brown Street would be what it is today?" she asked. "People sometimes don't realize the gems we have in this region that will take us into the next millennium."

The City Plan Board approved UD's master plan in July.