Although the university has more changes planned for the Mount Carmel campus, Vice President of Facilities & Capital Planning Salvatore Filardi says it won’t be for another two to five years.
“There’s nothing planned this right very minute but the Law School is being moved over to North Haven so that’s going to trigger some moves, and the Engineering School is going to need space,” Filardi said.
The Law School, as of now, is planned to be moved by September 2014, Filardi confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Carl Hansen Student Center is essentially done, Filardi said. The student center staff is prepared to open up the entire space this week, with the exception of the main sitting area around the fireplace. Contractors are putting additional middle work, such as rail work and the column that goes across the building, that may take up to a couple of weeks.
“By the end of September, I’m pretty confident [the contractors] will be out of there completely,” Filardi said.
All of this planning and constructing was expressed in Quinnipiac’s “Five Year Master Plan” presentation to the Town of Hamden this July.
The plan illustrated plans of constructing new academic buildings in North Lot by the Lender School of Business; however, Filardi stated that that master plan is not set in stone.
“I would say that there are, in the long term planning of things, the possibility of building academic buildings where SoB is, but that’s not anything that’s being specifically planned right now,” Filardi said. “I’ve seen plans of a building right next to the business school, but we’re not planning to build that; somebody designed it, at least conceptually.”
Filardi defines a “master plan” as encompassing all the planning for the university.
“The document that was given to the town is kind of a ‘heads up, this is what we might be thinking about,’ but none of it is specifically ‘this is what we’re doing.’ We’re not going to build a new campus anytime soon,” Filardi said. “We are actually embarking on a full-campus master plan this year and that will be much more detailed about potential growth of new programs and where new buildings might be.”
The primary goal Quinnipiac has with planning is focusing North Haven as the graduate campus, Filardi explained. Furthermore, the university continues to be competitive in the higher ed market place.
“When there’s an opportunity to add a program that makes sense and a program that there’s a demand for, we continue to be flexible enough to address those kind of things,” Filardi said.
With a goal of adding new programs in high demand, Quinnipiac is focusing on its newest addition.
“Right now, we have two big undertakings with the school of medicine, school of engineering, so I think we need to get those under our belt before we start thinking about anything else, but for the short term, I think we have plenty of opportunity for growth within those two schools,” Filardi said.
The master plan also touched upon student housing, a hot topic between the Town of Hamden and Quinnipiac University.
Quinnipiac has continuingly met with the Town of Hamden throughout this past summer to settle on a housing solution. According to Filardi, the housing issue is over students not accepting senior housing while the university has excess beds. Thus, the university is working on marketing these beds for juniors and seniors to stay on campus for all four years.
“Some of the issues with the town and the beds over the years have been quieted because of the new beds,” Filardi said. “We think we’re going to get to the point where we don’t have any beds for students who want a campus bed and we will build new ones. The president has made that very clear that the university continues on that commitment; we will provide housing for any student that wants a bed.”
In the Chronicle’s coverage of Quinnipiac’s Five Year Master Plan presentation to the Town of Hamden in July, Assistant Town Planner Dan Kops was quoted stating: “The criticism is not against the enrollment, the criticism is that Quinnipiac is growing faster than its capacity to house new students.”
In response, Filardi wanted to clarify stating: “No, [Quinnipiac is not growing faster than its capacity to house new student]; the university is doing a very good job of planning, understanding what [student] needs are. I think we are trying to make sure that growth is purposeful.”