Editorial: Whatever happened to plans for Pacific University’s 2015 renovations?

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Earlier this school year, Pacific University announced the master plan for Pacific University in the year 2020. As we look forward to what we at The Pacific Index are sure is a bright and promising future, we think it would be wise to take a trip down memory lane. After all, those new to the Pacific community haven’t been around long enough to know about the grand plans for our school that were due to come true in 2015.

These plans were put in place approximately five years ago, as Pacific was preparing for the big move of many programs to the newly created Health Professions Campus in Hillsboro. Many elements of the Pacific 2015 Master Plan have to do with the space leftover from the move to HPC.

For example, in the following paragraph from the executive summary of the 2015 Master Plan, plans for a reborn Jefferson Hall are detailed:

“A key proposal of the master plan is to renovate Jefferson Hall – after the School of Optometry moves to the Health Professions Campus – to become a focal complex for the Liberal Arts programs. The building is centrally located and has the potential for a second face toward the heart of the campus, with an atrium that would unite the programs around this dramatic indoor/outdoor space with the adjacent Oak Grove. “

Members of the Pacific community are encouraged to check out the sketch of the renovated Jefferson Hall, complete with the “dramatic indoor/ outdoor space,” on page three of the Master Plan’s executive summary. Isn’t the thought of progress exciting?

But according to the 2015 plan, that’s not all we’re in for in a couple years. In fact, the general theme of the 2015 Master Plan seems to be major contruction, with more than fifteen buildings on the Master Plan’s map color coded orange for either construction or renovation.

“New construction is expected for two main reasons. New residential construction is anticipated to house over 80 percent of campus students, in suite-type configuration. “

In light of this proposal, it seems like the adminstration has been pretty prescient with this year’s high admissions rate. After all, it may seem crowded now, but according to the 2015 Master Plan, new residence halls will soon magically be here “to house over 80 percent of campus students, in suite-type configuration.”

But wait, there’s more! “Replacement of those existing campus buildings found to be functionally obsolete is also proposed.”

Images abound in the minds of students not just of decrepit Brown and Warner Halls, but of Walter Hall basement. After all, Walter basement houses  not only your own Pacific Index, but the entire Pacific media arts department. But with all the renovations of buildings found to be “functionally obsolete,” media arts may see brighter days yet, no longer being the only department on campus whose home is the basement of a residence hall.

Of course, one is hard-pressed to find a building on campus who fits the dictionary definition of “obsolescence” more than the University Center. Will the UC finally have its day to shine? Yes it will, according, to the 2015 Master Plan.

“Renovation of existing buildings is a primary strategy: Harvey Scott Library, Jefferson Hall and the University Center will all undergo major renovation.”

Did you hear that, students? Not only is renovation of UC forthcoming under the 2015 Master Plan, it “is a primary strategy.” No longer will students cram uncomofrtably into a small, decades-old area housing everything from Real Food on Campus and the Bistro to the Student Life Office, mailroom and the multipurpose room. The days of crowded tabling for campus activities are numbered.

So how are things looking for the 2015 Master Plan? Well, if you take a look around campus, it seems like there’s an awful lot of work to be done over the next two years to make Pacific 2015 a reality. But it’s definitely going to get done, right?


As we look forward to the newly adopted “Vision 2020,” we would do well to listen to the lessons of the past. Broken promises don’t make for a trusting Pacific community.


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