A Tapestry of Learning: What might the new campus look like in 2023? Cords of the new campus master plan, revealed

Not until it was nearly done did anyone realize that the master plan had a name. For nearly two years the planning team had been thinking hard about what the needs of the university would be 20 years from now. They made surveys and they took photographs and they talked to people—lots of people—and they drew charts and diagrams to visually represent what they found out about how the physical campus supported the university’s academic mission. It was in one of these, a map identifying gathering spots and analyzing the movement of people and ideas across the campus, that the name revealed itself. “It looks like a tapestry,” said one of the architects. And so it did, a Tapestry of Learning.

Like the great tapestries of medieval times that told epic tales of human achievement, this tapestry tells the 117-year story of Puget Sound. With input from students, alumni, faculty, staff, community members, and local business-district representatives, a master plan has emerged that expresses possibilities for the ways in which all threads of the university—academic, residential, athletic, and co-curricular—might weave together to support our values and create a fully integrated and distinctive learning environment for many years to come.

The university is both a quiet place for reflection and an energetic crossroads that embraces civic engagement and the broader society. It is a place where people gather to exchange ideas and create knowledge, and to grow as individuals and as part of a diverse community. As part of the planning process, the team identified the “sacred spaces” on campus that are integral to what the university and its people have been, and opportunities to enhance existing facilities and meet critical needs essential to what we have become: a nationally ranked residential liberal arts college that draws the finest students and faculty from across the country and around the world.

The Tapestry of Learning seeks to:

  • Support academic, athletic, and residential program needs
  • Embrace environmental attributes and keep sustainability a primary goal
  • Create natural and functional gathering spaces
  • Accommodate the circulation of people and cars
  • Express a welcoming sense of arrival and reflect our open relationship with Tacoma
  • Visually integrate the entire campus in character and quality through landscape and architecture that preserves our open spaces and the spirit of our Tudor- Gothic buildings.

The map on the next page provides an early look at that vision and is part of a comprehensive strategic plan for the university that will be unveiled in the fall. For more information see www.ups.edu/mp.

Mapping the master plan
The plan calls for three phases of implementation over 20 years, but Tapestry of Learning documentation makes it clear that the plan is flexible. It can be adapted as university needs or priorities change, and the pace of construction will depend on fundraising.

Chief among the Phase One projects pointed out on this map is removal of the long-outdated South Hall, which houses occupational therapy, physical therapy, and facilities services. These would be placed in new structures in a different location, eliminating the “plug” in the north-south axis of the campus. The resulting “Commencement Walk” would extend from Jones Hall to Memorial Fieldhouse.

Among Phase Two projects are a parking garage west of the fieldhouse, renovations to the fieldhouse itself (including an entry more in keeping architecturally with the rest of the university’s buildings), additions and renovations to Kittredge Hall, and an Alumni/Events Center (just north of the proposed health sciences building on the map).

In Phase Three, the university would continue renovating existing buildings and consolidate student housing along Alder Street.

A three-dimensional model of the plan is on display in Collins Memorial Library, and components of the plan can be viewed in greater detail at www.ups.edu/mp.