Starkville Daily News
Dumas, Ramsey detail MSU master plan
The new Mississippi State University campus master plan is designed to establish a vision for the near and long term, and build an interface between the campus and the Starkville community.
On Monday, March 6, the Starkville Rotary Club received a briefing on the new MSU campus master plan from MSU'S executive director of parking and transit Jeremiah Dumas and executive director of campus services Saunders Ramsey.
When he started to talk about the work, research, and ideas that were involved when putting together the master plan, Dumas pointed out that MSU'S history has a great culture of planning.
“Stephen D. Lee, our first president, was not well sought after as only a general or a university president, but he was also sought after for his expertise in the development of land grant universities, most prominent of which was his ability to develop physical infrastructure,” Dumas said.
When it comes to a campus master plan, Dumas said it's not just coming together, putting together a map and figuring out what works best and which locations would be great for buildings to reside in.
“The first six to eight months of this whole process was an in-depth dive with each academic unit and each college to understand their real space needs because at the end of the day, we want to be good stewards of the resources we have,” Dumas said.
There were multiple guiding principles that led the development of this master plan and the first of which was a focus around the core of the university: the Drill Field.
“We see [the Drill Field] as our preeminent space. Obviously, the Junction is on TV a lot and there's other open spaces on campus that mean a lot. But that Drill Field is really our heart. It's our home and it's where we want to develop around,” Dumas said.
One part of the plan that Ramsey is particularly excited about is the possibility of the outdoor environments on campus.
“When we went there COVID, we recognized the outdoor space and we went through some studies about what spaces can we impact with the lowest cost,” said Ramsey. “One of the things I say is that we focus a lot on the residence halls and we focus a lot on the classroom, as we should. But there's the time you forgot you have. When you're on campus and you have a 35 minute break, stay outside, enjoy each other, get to know each other, maybe you meet an administrator. This is a major, major focus for Mississippi State right now.”
To view the 2022 MSU campus master plan, you can visit www.opdca.msstate.edu/2022planupdate/.