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K-State Today

April 6, 2015



2015 Space Migration Planning Project underway

By Kirk Schulz

Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz

With multiple major construction projects underway due to be completed in the next few years on the Manhattan campus, we are in the unique position of having significant space available for reallocation for the first time in decades. Several weeks ago in K-State Today, Vice President Bontrager announced the 2015 Space Migration Project as a formal space planning initiative designed to optimize the space allocation opportunities afforded by the new construction. Today, we are pleased to provide you with the project and application details and timeline now available on the Space Migration website.

Buildings included in this year's planning project are Calvin Hall, Foundation Tower, Holtz Hall and Nichols Hall. You can find information regarding the available space on the project website as well as a schedule of forums and tours that will be conducted by Campus Planning this month.

A Space Migration Working Group (SMWG) has been formed and charged to implement the 2015 Space Migration Project, evaluate the proposals and make recommendations to me. Members of the SMWG are Cindy Bontrager, chair and vice president for administration and finance; April Mason, provost and senior vice president; Karen Burg, vice president for research; David Rintoul, Faculty Senate president; Pam Warren, University Support Staff Senate incoming president; Andrew Hurtig, Student Governing Association incoming president; and Amanda Fairbanks, Graduate Student Council president. Heather Mills, assistant director space management, and the staff of the Office of Campus Planning will provide staff support to the SMWG. I appreciate the willingness of the working group members to commit time and energy to this important work over the next several months.

The campus is invited to submit concept proposals through their deans and vice presidents with the proposals submitted to the SMWG by May 4. The SMWG will review these initial proposals to determine which applications best support the university vision using a two stage process. After the initial assessment of the concept proposals, a short list of applicants will be asked to submit final and more detailed proposals for review. At this stage, multiple applicants may be asked to collaborate on a joint proposal to better optimize synergies and space usage. The final proposal submissions will be reviewed by the SMWG as well as the President's Cabinet with their recommendations submitted to me. Recommendations and the final decisions will be based on which mix of proposals best support our overall university goals and the Space Migration Guiding Principles that have been developed as criteria to aid in the preparation and review process.

My goal is to announce the space migration decisions by mid-September 2015. The general project timeline is

  • Open forum, building tours, communication of Space Migration process: April 6–17
  • Accept concept preproposals: April 6-May 4
  • SMWG review of preproposals: May 4–June 1
  • Final concept proposal submission: June 1–29
  • SMWG, Cabinet, and President review: June 29–Aug. 21
  • Decisions announced: Sept. 14
  • Space migration implementation planning begins: fall 2015

To promote transparency all proposals will be made available on the Space Migration website throughout the length of the project. All other information, including the procedures, preconcept and final proposal forms, and evaluation and rating criteria, will also be available there.

Our K-State 2025 plan called for new planning processes for facilities and infrastructure. Space migration planning is one of those new processes and I appreciate the work accomplished by the Campus Planning staff, the Office of the Provost, President's Cabinet, and the Deans Council to facilitate the creation of a new way to look at space planning and management. As we move forward, we will learn what works well and what needs improved. I would like to highlight a few things to keep in mind as we begin.

1. If you are preparing a proposal, be sure to refer to the Guiding Principles. We are looking for proposals that reflect the long-term goals of the Campus Master Plan and K-State 2025. This includes proposals for synergistic use of space encouraging intellectual or social collaboration, interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary work, colocation of similar functions or activities, strategic groupings of programs or services, and consolidation of departmental units.

2. Proposals should be cost-effective and fiscally feasible. For example, Calvin Hall includes primarily classroom and office space. It would be cost-prohibitive to try to turn it into a core research facility. We need to take advantage of the current space attributes and be realistic about our limited budget environment. There is not a pot of central money to renovate the spaces being vacated and realistic funding plans will need to be in place to support any space migration decision.

3. Be assured that the 2015 Space Migration Project will be only the first phase of planning major space migrations on the Manhattan campus in coming years. There will be a domino effect as units and people move into vacated space, opening up space in other buildings to be repurposed. Annual space migration projects will be implemented at the conclusion of the 2015 project to promote continuous strategic space planning that maximizes major space opportunities.

4. Finally, and most importantly, this project is not the immediate answer to all of our space concerns. It is limited in scope to repurposing space being vacated due to new construction. It is not meant to address new construction needs or the daily ongoing needs of departments, faculty or staff. Those needs will continue to be addressed through other processes, including capital improvements projects planning and space planning coordinated through the Space Advisory Committee, which will be formed in the fall of this year.

We are taking important steps together by bringing a strategic focus to space migration planning in a transparent process. I look forward to your ideas and proposals.

Go Cats!

Kirk Schulz