A brief of ASUSF Senate’s recent meetings
USF plans to build a new residence hall, a new academic building for the Arts, and new athletic facilities, alongside other projects, as part of a 20-year development plan. Peter Novak, the Vice Provost of Student Life, presented USF’s Institutional Master Plan (IMP) at a Senate meeting on November 19.
The San Francisco Planning Department requires educational institutions to submit an IMP every 10 years to inform both city officials and the public about future facility and site plans on campus and their impact.
According to the IMF, USF’s housing quality is not competitive with many peer institutions. In 2011, the dorms accommodated only 38% of USF students. The new student housing would accommodate a higher percentage of students on campus and provide more housing options.
Novak said that the new dorms will probably be located where the ROTC building is now, and the new Arts building will either be placed below it, or in a new building that the university would purchase nearby.
The only obstacle to the development project is opposition from the neighbors.
The University Terrace Association (UTA), a neighborhood group, is concerned that the construction plans will increase the student population and consequently create traffic and parking problems. They are asking USF to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before constructing a new residence hall. The EIR could take up to a year to create, which would hold off the project.
In 2010, the same neighborhood group appealed USF’s plan to construct the John Lo Schiavo Science Center because of similar concerns. In early 2011, the Foghorn reported that a compromise — limiting construction hours and improving long-term communication — between the UTA and USF was reached.
If an agreement is reached, Novak projected that the new residence hall will be built at least 4 years from now.