Wanted: Feedback on campus facilities and spaces

A collaborative team developing a strategic facilities plan is seeking input on how the campus community uses Iowa State's buildings and spaces. Input is being sought from faculty, staff and students during three come-and-go open house sessions being held Nov. 6-7.

"We want to understand what people's experiences are in the facilities they use at Iowa State," said Sarah Lawrence, campus planner in facilities planning and management (FPM). "Facilities have the ability to promote academic success for students, promote professional success for faculty and staff, and support research."

With help from the Ayers Saint Gross (ASG) planning and design firm, FPM is partnering with the academic and student affairs divisions to develop a strategic facilities plan to guide decision-making on future investments and improvements. Lawrence said the open house sessions are part of the assessment phase that also includes data analysis and discussions with units and focus groups.

"The assessment focuses on understanding the quality and quantity of our facilities and understanding whether they are doing their job to support success," Lawrence said. "We're also having conversations about future trends and changes in teaching pedagogy."

Three chances to participate

The open house sessions will add a qualitative layer of information to quantitative data. Lawrence said planners want to hear how the campus community uses facilities, engages with the spaces and moves through campus.

Participants can supply feedback using stickers ("dot voting") or post-it notes (for open-ended answers) to respond to questions posted on display boards. Members of the team working on the strategic facilities plan also will be available to answer questions and collect feedback.

"By speaking with the campus community, we can get different information than what we see in data reports that don't speak to what it's like to work and learn in those spaces," Lawrence said.

Refreshments will be provided at the open house sessions. Lawrence said with the drop-in format, it should take participants no longer than five minutes to answer the questions, but they are welcome to stay as long as they wish. The open house sessions are:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 8-10 a.m., Veterinary Medicine commons
  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 4-6 p.m., Union Drive Community Center second floor
  • Thursday, Nov. 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Memorial Union Pine Room

What's next

Using information gathered during the facility assessment phase, ASG will develop scenarios that include an investment strategy for the strategic facilities plan team and campus community to weigh in on. A final plan is expected in early 2021.

"We'd like to understand how we can make changes and reinvest in the facilities that we have, so we can continue to offer a world-class education to our students and provide a high-quality working environment for our faculty and staff," Lawrence said.