Master Plan

Executive Summary

The 2010 District-Wide Campus Expansion Master Plan will guide campus development for the next 10 years on all five of South Texas College (STC) campuses. The master provides a vision for the campuses’ physical environment to promote and support the academic values and goals of the college, while addressing enrollment and space needs. The planning process was highly interactive, resulting in significant consensus and support from a wide range of constituency groups. Participation in the planning process was encouraged by the former president, Dr. Shirley Reed, and key campus leadership to various campus users in order to have a plan accepted and shaped by everyone’s input.


The planning team approached the master plan project through a systematic process comprising Mobilization, Data Gathering, Analysis, Review, and Recommendations. In the Mobilization Phase, the planning team coordinated with STC to prepare schedules and milestones. The Data Gathering Phase included a web-based questionnaire and interview sessions with the Master Planning Steering Committee, Board of Trustees, campus coordinators, campus key leaders, Board Facilities Committee, planning and construction, and security departments. The planning team also collected site data, enrollment trends, space utilization, and previous reports and plans. During the Analysis/Review Phase, the planning team developed a thorough understanding of the opportunities, constraints, strengths, and weaknesses of STC’s current status. The information gathered from surveys, interviews, requested informati on, and campus site visits served as a foundation for data analysis. The analyzed data was used to formulate recommendations for the master plan. In the Recommendation Phase, the planning team refined the concept plans to develop the final master plan recommendations. Narratives, graphics and sketches, cost esti mates, and implementation strategies were then developed to support the plan. Next, a three-phase implementation approach was developed for the final document. Planning Principles A series of planning principles directed the plan. These principles helped develop a master plan that will sustain and strengthen STC’s position of providing quality programs and higher education. The key campus planning principles implemented in campus designs were:

  • Establish a sense of reception and arrival
    • Each campus should have a “front door” and welcoming campus way-finding.
  • Provide strong pedestrian connections and visual corridors through campus
  • Physical and visual connections should enhance open space and facilitate movement.
    • Create “loop” road where possible
  • Pedestrian/vehicular conflicts should be reduced by directing vehicular traffic to the edge of campus.
  • Establish edges and boundaries
    • The edges of campus should be clearly delineated and well-defined to create an identifiable campus boundary.
  • Locate parking on campus edges
    • Parking along the outer perimeter should allow the interior of campus to develop as a pedestrian friendly space.
  • Consider iconic landmarks to create campus identity
    • Landmark element should identify campus and created a gathering space for students and visitors.

These planning principles are visible in each campuses’ conceptual design.


STC’s future plans and strategies will rely on recommendations outlined in the master plan. Because STC’s campuses, facilities and utilities are fairly new in most cases, the master plan focused on enrollment growth and resulting facility needs. Each campus features new construction and physical enhancements to meet enrollment increases and space needs to the year 2020, as well as, addresses the planning principles established. The final master plan is the reflection of countless hours of collaboration with STC staff, administration, Board, and users. The master plan reflects several important campus recommendations to be implemented in a three-phase approach on each campus. While some recommendations are dependent on the completion of others, there is flexibility in the plan to allow progress to be made in a future climate of change and uncertainty. There were several district-wide recommendations in the master plan that were addressed on all five campuses: expanded parking, landscape enhancements, well-defined entries and new facilities in all three phases. During the next 10 years, recommended new facilities on all five campuses include: 10 new academic/classroom buildings, four student service/activity expansions, two health professions and science centers, nursing and allied health expansions, technology campus expansion and institute for advanced manufacturing, logistical support center expansion, child-care center, two library expansions, cultural arts center, performing arts center, library renovation and a college administration building. A pedestrian bridge and new campus entry is also recommended on the Pecan Campus. In all new campus developments, pedestrian malls will be maintained and created in respect to existing campus axes. An expectation for green campus sustainability in all future endeavors is also recommended. Whether for new or renovated facilities or campus-wide energy saving initiatives, it’s recommended that STC continue to move toward campus sustainability principles and goals.


The master plan is an instrument for future decision making. These recommendations do not establish an exact implementation schedule, but establish a benchmark to meet changing conditions and available resources. Project cost estimates are provided to allow STC to make implementation decisions based on needs, timing, and funding. As each project is planned, detailed programming and site-specific strategies will need to be initiated for implementation. The master plan should be considered a dynamic “living document” that provides the framework to meet the changing needs of STC. We recommend a periodic update and review be performed every two to three years or at the end of each major implementation phase to ensure that the direction of the plan remains consistent with the goals of STC not only today, but well into the future.

Prepared by:
Freese and Nichols, Inc.
4055 International Plaza, Suite 200
Fort Worth, Texas 76109

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