The University of South Dakota really doesn't need more space, it needs different space, according to an expert who conducted a year-long study of buildings on the USD campus. The findings from JBA, Inc. can be found in the PowerPoint presentation below.
Consultant Joe Bilotta evaluated academic and support space but not residence halls. He found nearly 2 million square feet of space on campus, but it's not always the right space at the right location. The university is short about 120,000 square feet mainly for student services, lab facilities within Arts & Sciences and Fine Arts, and storage and shops for Facilities Management, he said.
Other shortages for dining and athletics are being addressed with the current Muenster University Center expansion and the planned addition of a basketball arena and academic space adjacent to the DakotaDome, Bilotta said.
In the near future he proposes tearing down Noteboom Hall and Julian Hall and replacing existing Facilities Management buildings which are in poor condition. Longer term, he says the university should consider tearing down the Service Center and Burr House. The programs in those buildings would need to be relocated, either in existing buildings or in newly built space. Ideally, he said, the university would create "academic neighborhoods" that would keep the hard sciences in one part of campus, health and medicine in another, social sciences in a third. Bilotta also proposes major renovations for I.D. Weeks Library, reducing the space for storing books and materials and using more space for support programs like the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Math Emporium and the testing center. He also proposes some renovation in East Hall, Dakota Hall, Arts & Sciences and Fine Arts.
On the short list for new buildings is an addition to the Lee Medical Building that would allow nursing and other health-related programs to locate with the medical school. Bilotta recommended more study to find the ideal solution for campus services, which includes everything from post office and police to the copy center and student services.
Longer term, Bilotta would add a laboratory west of Churchill-Haines and tear down Brookman Hall. He would add parking at the former sites of Julian and Brookman halls. The Warren M. Lee Fine Arts Center also could use added space, the report said. He also recommended that Admissions be moved closer to the Highway 50 entrance to campus because it would be more convenient for parents and prospective students visiting USD.
The PowerPoint presentation used in the October 2013 open forum meetings is below.