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Drake meeting goals for six-year ‘Master Plan’ of renovations, additions

Photo: Drake University

The six-year-old master plan for renovations and additions to Drake University is on track.

After spending a year constructing it in 2004, the renovation plan was first implemented in 2005. The plan’s main goals were to enhance the student life on campus and to improve the facilities that foster learning.

Before the university made the renovation plan, the school’s deans, department heads, student leaders and student life staff were asked what changes would be most beneficial to the students. With the responses, the school constructed an in-depth master plan to organize all the changes Drake would need to make to improve the university’s facilities.

Drake senior Matthew Martin said that the school is doing exactly what any private institution should do.

“The competitive nature is that you have to do what you have to do to attract students,” Martin said. “We need all the new buildings and renovations to do that, and ever since I’ve been here [at Drake] there have been changes all over the place. And I have no doubt that by the time current freshmen graduate, some parts of campus will be barely recognizable.”

The plan is divided into two sections: the Immediate Projects, “Drake 125,” and the Master Plan Recommendations. The latter consists of the projects to be completed after the Immediate Projects are done.

“The Master Plan Recommendations are part of a published plan, but plans do change,” Jolene Schmidt, director of operations and support services, said. “There will be addition and deletions as the years go on. The additions or deletions depend on donations to Drake University.”

The Immediate Projects are six recommendations to be achieved in the first five years of development. In 2005, they were actions achievable under current funding.

The six immediate projects included renovations in Olin and Harvey Ingham Halls; classroom and lab renovations in Harvey Ingham, Meredith and the Medbury Honors Lounge; renovation in the freshman dorms, Hubbell Dining Hall and Cole Hall; and finally campus image enhancements, which took place this summer.

Some major aspects not yet completed are renovations and an addition to Cowles Library, renovations to the Harmon Fine Arts Center and a new science building.

Cowles Library will be expanded north to house the Center for Speaking and Writing, the Center for Global Citizenship, the Center for Digital Learning and Technology and other interdisciplinary centers. “I think it will be a useful resource to have on campus,” sophomore Andrea Crowley said. “I think more people will be willing to get help if the campus adds more learning centers.”

In the Harmon Fine Arts Center plans, the Anderson Gallery, music practice rooms and media and graphic arts will be relocated to a new building to the east. The “beam” of FAC will be demolished.

Also, a new main stage theater will be built north of FAC.

“I think it will be a well-appreciated movee towards expanding and improving Drake’s already top-notch fine arts division,” sophomore music major Tom Florian said. “As a musician, I am looking forward to a new space where I can enrich my talents and continue my learning.”

The new science building will be focused on meeting the needs for updated and expanded classrooms and laboratory space for the sciences. The building plan will be drawn upon cutting-edge green building concepts.

“I think we should build the new building because we need more learning spaces,” sophomore pre-med student Drake Bittner said. “I think it would be a good thing if they built a building just for pre-med and BCMB because the campus already has a building solely for pharmacy.”

The master plan also includes the law school and athletic department. The law school is planning a renovation to Cartwright Hall and the athletic department is in discussion with athletic facility planners regarding a 20-year plan. The plan will include a renovation of the Drake Fieldhouse.

The money for the renovations comes from various different sources, Schmidt said.

“The money comes from either donations or the university borrows money to pay for the renovations,” Schmidt said. “The university borrowed money to renovate the residence halls, but donations paid for the Hubbell North renovation, (the) Jazz Center (renovation) and the renovation of Harvey Ingham.”
The university has already spent over $65 million since 2001.

Martin said he looks forward to doing what he can to help Drake’s campaign for continuing renovations in the future.

“A private school survives by getting money from alumni and friends,” Martin said.  When I’m in a position to give significant amounts of money (to the school), I will certainly do so because I love this institution.”


a. Olin and Harvey Ingham Hall Renovations
b. Classroom/Lab Renovations
c. Quadrangle Dormitories Renovation and New Dormitory Building
d. Hubbell Dining Renovation (Spike’s)
e. Cole Hall Renovation
f. Campus Image Enhancements


g. “Point” Interim Renovations and Future Renovations and Future Demolition
h. New Campus Learning Center
i. Cowles Library Addition
j. New Science Building
k. Fine Arts
l. New Academic Building
m. Carnegie Hall Restoration
n. Drake Stadium Development, Bell Center Locker Renovations and Expansion of Parking
o. Morehouse and Jewett Residence Hall Renovations
p. Oreon E. Scott Chapel Restoration/Interfaith Garden
q. University Avenue Parking Garage
r. Street Vacation and Redesign
s. Housing west of 30th Street between University and Forest Avenues
t. Mixed-use Development University Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets
u. Mixed-use and Parking Development east of 25th Street


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