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2. Core requirements

Core Requirement:

2.11.2 The institution has adequate physical resources to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services. (Physical Resources)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The University of West Georgia (UWG) has adequate physical resources to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services that support both online and face-to-face academic programs.  This finding is based on assessment of physical resources available including land and campus facilities, strategic facilities planning, growth of facilities consistent with enrollment, and appropriate space allocations.

The Office of Campus Planning and Facilities is responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of all the UWG facilities.  The organizational structure emphasizes capital improvement, infrastructure, maintenance/repair/operation of campus buildings, and the provision of facility services to the entire campus community.  The award-winning [1] Facilities and Grounds Department works effectively and efficiently to provide an environment that supports the teaching, research, and service responsibilities of the university as defined in the UWG mission statement [2].  The university is actively preparing for future needs and expansion.

The Campus

With an enrollment of 11,800 students, UWG is the largest institution of higher education in western Georgia.  The UWG campus consists of over 2.7 million gross square feet (GSF) of space [3] in over 120 buildings.  While the 645-acre campus is located primarily in the city of Carrollton, the university has a significant, and growing, facility in the city of Newnan.  

Master Plan

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has established a policy requiring the University System of Georgia institutions to complete a comprehensive Master Plan on a ten-year cycle, with periodic updates on five-year cycles.  To this end, the Board of Regents has developed guidelines and procedures [4] for the development of Campus Master Plans, including detailed templates [5] and reference guides [6].  The Master Plan concentrates on the physical development of the campus and its facilities.  It encompasses elements of campus organization, land, and building use; vehicular and pedestrian circulation; infrastructure; open space; relationship to the community; and criteria for campus site and building design to ensure compliance with physical master plan principles.

The university’s most recent Campus Master Plan was a comprehensive effort completed in 2003 by Sasaki Associates [7].  The Campus Master Plan is updated on a periodic basis to reflect implementation of the capital projects program to meet future needs and to adjust to the university’s evolving needs.  The most recent Master Plan Update was initiated in 2010 [8] and includes revisions to the 2003 Master Plan in response to recent enrollment growth, land acquisition, and capital construction.  The ongoing master planning effort depicts a campus that is growing and evolving, and reveals the need for continued focus on the special needs associated with this growth: land use, infrastructure, parking, technology, and relevance of academic and residential facilities.

During the 2010 Master Plan Update, the consultant team met with the Master Plan Committee to outline the information gathering approach and to assess current conditions and future needs.  The consultants sat down with each committee member. They solicited input from students, faculty, and staff as to future campus needs and the university community’s vision for the future of the University of West Georgia.

Land Acquisition

In 2008-2009, the UWG acquired property that significantly increased the primary campus footprint to the north and west.  The acquisition of over 25 acres on the northern campus gateway by the University of West Georgia Foundation provided an opportunity to construct the Greek Village housing and much-needed perimeter parking.  An effective partnership with the City of Carrollton resulted in the acquisition of 235 acres on the west side of campus, allowing major expansion and construction of the Athletic Complex.  The acquisitions positioned UWG for future growth, while allowing the campus to maintain a balance of building density and natural beauty.

Space Inventory

In total, UWG has over 2.7 million GSF of space for programs and services, 1.45 million GSF in education and general space (57%), 90,340 GSF of athletic/recreational space (3%), and over 1 million GSF of auxiliary space (40%) [3].  In the past thirteen years, gross space has increased 111%, and E&G space has grown by 40% [9].

Auxiliary functions (housing, dining, retail, health services, athletics, etc.) comprise approximately 43% of gross space, and these associated spaces have grown by 166% since 2000.  The growth is attributed to the UWG’s commitment to recruiting and retaining students through a vibrant, contemporary residential experience. 

 Total GSF

Distribution of Campus Space by Function, 2013

Space Utilization

During fall 2011, Comprehensive Facilities Planning, Inc. and UWG began a multi-phase study of existing facilities conditions on the Carrollton and Newnan campuses.  The initial phase of the work: verified the accuracy of the university’s space inventory; gathered department assignments data that had not previously existed into the inventory; examined the amount of office space on campus; analyzed classroom utilization for fall 2011; and assessed the condition of classrooms and laboratories [10].  Analysis of classrooms and laboratories found instructional spaces, classrooms, and labs underutilized overall, as measured by Weekly Room Hours (WRH) according to national standards.  Daytime station occupancy (percentage of seats occupied when in use), however, ranked 76.8 % and exceeds the national standard of 67%.  This signifies that UWG uses scheduled classroom stations effectively and distributes enrollment demand well across classes. The 56 “shared” (centrally scheduled) classrooms are utilized at 26.5 WRH, while the 51 “non-shared” (departmentally scheduled) classrooms are utilized at only 15.1 WRH.  Target guidelines for the study were in the range of 26 – 31.5 WRH for daytime usage [11].

A condition assessment [12] of all classrooms and laboratories in December 2011 found most classrooms in better-than-average condition and most equipped adequately with contemporary technology features.  This most recent review indicates that the university has adequate instructional space, although some opportunities exist to better align UWG's utilization and quality of space with the ideal of a destination university.

Classroom and Lab Summary, 2012

Classroom/Lab Summary, 2012

Source:  Summary Findings of Existing Conditions Final Report, CFPI, May 2012

The Office of Real Estate and Facilities at the Board of Regents launched a space utilization initiative [13] in the fall of 2012 with the goal of validating, benchmarking, and normalizing the utilization of academic space across the University System of Georgia.  UWG is an active participant in this process and will benefit from improved metrics and standards in the ongoing analysis of its space.

Space Allocation Requests

Since 2011, UWG has taken measures to validate and centrally manage the allocation of instructional and non-instructional space.  Requests by departments for additions or changes to university space are administered through a Space Allocation Request Form [14] and procedure.  Requests are reviewed and approved by the Chief Facilities Officer, Provost, and Chief Business Officer to determine appropriate use and allocation of space and to ensure all changes of use is accurately recorded.

Capital Planning Process

Each year in March, in response to the Board of Regents request [15], the Office of Campus Planning and Facilities prepares and submits a Five-Year Major and Minor Capital Request [16], and Annual Major Repair and Renovation (MRR) Funding Request [17]. All the major and minor capital requests are prepared using Board of Regents guidelines [18] and are based on the 2010 Facilities Master Plan Update.  Board of Regents MRR funding for the 2008-2013 fiscal years has averaged $1.1 to $1.4 million each year [17].  The most recent 5-year Capital Plan requested by the Board of Regents was the period 2009-2014 [16], and totaled about $ 87.3 million and public/private partnership projects to $58.7 million.  A Small Capital Project request [19] was submitted in 2013 for the $3.5 million renovation of the former Murphy Fieldhouse for use as administrative space for extended learning programs.  This funding was approved in May 2013, and planning is expected to commence in August 2013.  For FY14, UWG requested MRR funding of $4.285 million and anticipates funding of $1.2 million [20].  UWG is anticipating a request from the Board of Regents for a comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in early summer 2013.

Capital Projects

Since 2003, the UWG has completed 1.3 million GSF of capital construction projects [21] totaling nearly $270 million.  The capital construction portfolio is consistent with the Master Plan, and is focused on a balanced approach to growth. Major academic additions include expansion of Callaway Hall (natural sciences), a new Coliseum (health and wellness), a new Visual Arts Building (art), and a new facility dedicated to the School of Nursing.

Growth GSF

Increase in Campus Square Footage, 2000-2013

Academic Facilities

The School of Nursing (July 2013) is three stories, totaling approximately 62,000 GSF, and is sited on a former playing field on West Georgia Drive.  Instructional spaces located on the 3rd floor include a 135-seat tiered classroom, computer classroom and lab, flexible classrooms, and building support spaces.  The prominently located common area includes a multifunctional space for students, faculty and staff, and can also be utilized for lectures, dinners or other events.  As a center for activity, the common areas also provide a direct connection to the highly specialized simulation spaces on the second floor.  The facility’s centerpiece is the second floor high fidelity simulation environment, designed to prepare students to effectively enter the nursing workforce.  The state-of-the-art simulation suites are highly flexible and adaptable to a wide variety of scenarios, which broadens the educational capabilities of the School of Nursing curriculum.  Also located on the second floor are flexible classrooms, seminar and group study rooms, graduate and doctoral offices, simulation offices, and support spaces.  Faculty offices, as well as the Center for Nursing Research and the Dean’s suite, are located on the third floor.

School of Nursing Building

School of Nursing Building, Opening in Fall 2013

Completed in spring 2012, the 23,500 GSF Visual Arts Building facilitates the expanding arts program at UWG.  The facility accommodates programs for sculpture, ceramics, 3D foundations, and printmaking, as well as classroom studios, and faculty offices/studios.  Also included are learning studios for foundry, metal fabrication, woodshop, kilns, and letterpress.  Exterior workspace includes 1,500 GSF of outdoor studios and a student-constructed anagama kiln.

The $23 million, 122,500 GSF Coliseum [22] is the largest enclosed public assembly facility along the Interstate I20 corridor between Atlanta and Birmingham.  It has a maximum capacity of 6,500 for athletic events. Completed in 2008, the facility is home to UWG Wolves basketball, cheerleading and volleyball programs, and the Department of Leadership and Instruction.  In addition to classes and athletic events, the Coliseum has hosted concerts, UWG commencement ceremonies, local high school graduations, orientations, corporate meetings, sport camps, political forums and community events.  It is dedicated to meeting the needs of the campus, and local and regional communities.

Student Housing and Dining

The past decade, 2003-2013, has seen a transformation of the residential experience at UWG.  A series of Public-Private Venture (PPV) [23] projects funded by two UWG affiliated foundations, via revenue bonds, have significantly increased both the quantity and quality of resident beds on campus.  The projects have added and renovated over 2,200 resident beds with significant advances in the quality, amenities, and style of living for resident students.  Major PPV housing projects over the past decade include University Suites (2004), Arbor View Apartments (2005), Greek Village (2009), Center Pointe Suites (2012), and East Village Housing and Dining (2013).

UWG retained STV Architects in March 2011 to study aspects of student housing and dining on campus.  The findings of the “Student Housing and Food Service Study” (2011) [24] resulted in a major PPV capital project in excess of $60 million aimed at replacing or renovating legacy residence halls and expanding campus dining venues.  Phase 1 of the project was completed in July 2012 with the construction of Center Pointe Suites, a 602-bed semi suite complex in the heart of campus.  Phase 2 is scheduled for completion in July 2013.  It includes a new 475-bed semi suite housing complex, renovation and modernization of Bowdon Hall, construction of a new dining center, and Housing and Residence Life offices.

East Village

East Village Housing and Dining (2013)

Library Facilities

The $8 million renovation of Ingram Library, completed in June 2011, included rework of 51,200 GSF of space on the main and lower levels to create: new learning commons spaces; a museum and exhibit area in honor of Speaker Tom Murphy; single seat and group computer workstations; compact shelving for collections; a student cafe; and replacement of building infrastructure.  The renovation transformed the existing space into vibrant learning commons that supports a diversity of learning/study styles and activities.  Subsequent renovations on the second and third floors in 2012 and 2013, totaling over $750,000, provided improved accessibility to the library collections, and created additional study spaces and group activity spaces.  The impact of the improvements has resulted in increased door counts in excess of 100%.

Ingram Library

Ingram Library Renovation (2011)

Athletic, Recreation, and Wellness Facilities

Major construction related to athletics and recreation included the 2009 construction of a new Athletic Complex on 235 acres acquired through partnership with the City of Carrollton.  The complex includes new varsity, intramural, and practice facilities for most sports, a 9,200-seat football stadium, Athletic Operations Building, Women's Field house, and significant parking additions [25].

Student fees funded the Campus Center Project in 2006.  The $28 million dollar undertaking engaged Cooper Carry Architects in a public private venture that renovated 55,000 GSF of existing space and added 76,000 GSF of new space.  The renovated & expanded Campus Center, which opened its doors in August of 2006, provides students with a 13,000 GSF fitness facility, indoor track, climbing walls, aerobics rooms, two multi-court gymnasiums, and several new meeting rooms. 

Campus Center, Fall 2006

Campus Center, Fall 2006

Parking

The UWG campus presently has adequate parking to meet current demand.  In 2012, the UWG retained Timothy Haas and Associates, parking consultants, to perform a parking study [26] at the Carrollton campus.  The purpose of the study was to determine parking supply and demand, and to propose measures to ensure that adequate parking is maintained as enrollment grows.

Renovation and Deferred Maintenance

As part of its annual capital planning process [27], the Office of Campus Planning and Facilities consults with departments, colleges, and divisions of the university to determine candidate projects for adaptive reuse and renewal projects.  Projects are prioritized according to assessed need, mission support, facility condition, and other factors and are institutionally funded as year-end funds are available (See sample project list for FY13) [28].

The Office of Campus Planning & Facilities regularly conducts Facility Condition Assessment’s (FCA) to assess and benchmark the condition of major campus facilities and building systems.  At the request of the UWG, in 2012 ISES Corporation performed FCA field inspections necessary to define the capital renewal, deferred maintenance, and plant adaption needs on university selected campus buildings [29]. Completed during May 2012, the FCA inspection reports (see sample report [30]) recommend just under $97,556,520 worth of upgrades and improvements for the almost 955,361 GSF of buildings over ten years.  The FCA program, combined with the Computerized Maintenance Management System historical repair data, periodic building inspection data, and ongoing needs assessments establish the basis for data-centric decision making in regard to renovation and renewal of campus facilities.

Deferred maintenance, or capital renewal, falls outside the normal funding stream of building and grounds maintenance.  Such maintenance includes replacing or upgrading heating and air conditioning, electrical systems, elevators, and roofs.  The Office of Campus Planning & Facilities submits an MRR request to the Board of Regents annually [31]. The annual allocation of MRR funds [32] has been used to replace major building systems and components, repair and upgrade infrastructure, and perform small building renovation projects.

Newnan Instructional Site

UWG operates an off-campus instructional site in Newnan, Georgia, approximately 30 miles from the Carrollton campus.  The Newnan facility [33] is comprised of 17,000 GSF in three buildings, situated with adequate parking on an easily accessible 13-acre site.  In January 2013, the Board of Regents approved the Newnan Hospital Redevelopment Project, a cooperative agreement between the Board of Regents, the University of West Georgia, the City of Newnan, Coweta County, and Newnan Hospital.  Under this agreement [34], the City of Newnan will invest in development of a former hospital site in downtown Newnan into a newly renovated 83,000 GSF instructional site.  The completed project will be acquired by the Board of Regents in late 2014.  It will accommodate the relocation and expansion of the Newnan instructional site in support of current and future programs.  Throughout the early planning process, faculty and staff were consulted and participated in the needs assessment and programming for the future facility.

Facilities Needs Assessment

UWG has engaged faculty, staff, and students in the assessment of needs for university facilities by a number of means including:

Supporting Documentation: