The Collaborative Holds Open Forum For Student Input

by Zach Krauss

The Cedarville administration’s master-plan consultants hosted an open forum in the recital hall for students to give input on the 10-year master plan for the university on Monday, October 16.

The forum was led by Benjamin Hoffmann, Philip Enderle, and Mike DiNardo, all employees of The Collaborative, which is the company that Cedarville is working alongside to forge the university’s master plan. Hoffmann is a senior design professional, while DiNardo and Enderle are architects. Based in Toledo, Ohio, The Collaborative is a group of professional designers and architects who work together to provide services involving architecture, graphic design, interior design and space planning, as well as master planning.

This forum involved only students. However, the hosts mentioned that they had recently met with other faculty and staff to get similar insights.

The forum began with several questions to gauge what the students wanted in general for the university. Some of the questions included “What’s your favorite/least favorite space on campus?” and “What’s the one thing that shouldn’t be touched?” The BTS and Stingers, along with the HSC were listed as favorite places and spots not to be touched, while the university dining hall and several of the older academic buildings were listed as least favorite places to visit.

The second half of the forum involved The Collaborative staff going over some of the issues that they had observed upon their first visit to Cedarville. They discussed issues such as the many entrances to campus, which are ambiguous and confusing, especially to visitors.

Also addressed were the academic buildings on the south side of campus including Williams Hall, Patterson Hall, and the History and Government building. They also credited the school for its branding as well as its social spaces, and claimed that the university’s current setup of buildings was advantageous.

During the second half, students were asked to give free opinions as well. Suggestions for a prayer room, more on campus dining options, more male dormitories, and more individualized academic buildings were among the many given by the students in attendance.

When asked what the master plan shouldn’t touch, students responded with the grassy and open areas on campus included the grass around the lake, the parking near dormitories, and the emphasis on Scripture across campus.

The Collaborative staff mentioned that there would be 18 to 20 focus group meetings to discuss ideas, as well as five workshops similar to the student open forum which would help them better understand how to build a master plan that would help set the stage for the future of Cedarville University.

Zach Krauss is a junior pharmacy/music double major from central Texas and campus reporter for Cedars. He loves music, theatre, biology, community, and meeting new people.

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