Sabrina Suarez, Echo Media Group
(714) 573-0899 ext. 227
Ronald A. Van Blarcom, Concordia University Irvine
IRVINE, CA – (July 30, 2014) – Culminating two years of planning, Concordia University Irvine today submitted a comprehensive campus improvement plan to the City of Irvine. Concordia’s proposed Update to Campus Master Build-Out Plan replaces several aging buildings on campus with state-of-the art academic facilities as well as new sports venues and parking.
According to Mary Scott, executive vice president and provost, “Concordia University Irvine is a forward-looking institution. We have prepared our campus update plan to bring us to a new level of excellence in serving locally and globally with a Lutheran Christian university experience."
The campus update plan seeks to improve the educational experience for Concordia University Irvine students, preserve the park-like campus environment and improve parking and circulation to benefit the campus and its neighbors.
Founded in 1972, the University constructed its last new building, Grimm Hall, in 2007. Since then, the University has steadily expanded its programs, including an increasing emphasis on offsite and online education for graduate and adult degree students.
Ronald Van Blarcom, associate vice president of university services, noted, “In 2012, we considered the question, ‘How can we best serve students over the next 40 years?’ The campus update plan is the result of a concerted effort to identify the highest priorities for campus improvements and to use our existing space most effectively.”
Key elements of the update to campus master build-out plan include:
- Modern classrooms and labs. The campus update plan focuses on improving classrooms and venues for disciplines that require the highest degree of hands-on learning and collaboration such as science, visual arts and performing arts. A new Science, Nursing and Healthcare Center will feature new classrooms and labs for nursing, biology, chemistry, physics and medical science programs. The campus update plan also features upgrades to serve the University’s spiritual and academic needs and offer venues for choral, instrumental, theater and theology programs as well as faculty offices. Also planned is a new Center for Worship and Performing Arts. Other proposed elements include an astronomy lab, graphic design facilities and a student center.
- Upgraded sports facilities. The campus update plan seeks to better serve Concordia University Irvine’s championship-winning sports teams. Planned new facilities include a competition-sized pool with diving well, two additional tennis courts and two sand volleyball courts. The plan relocates other athletic facilities, including the softball field and existing tennis courts, to clustered locations on campus. In addition, the plan will improve seating for viewing track and soccer while providing new locker rooms and additional storage space for athletics.
- Improved campus circulation. The plan will increase available parking by adding new underground parking near the center of the campus and reconfiguring existing parking lots. The new circulation and parking plan includes a traffic management system to better accommodate campus events.
The proposed changes will not affect the number of students who attend Concordia University Irvine’s main campus. In its campus update plan application to the City of Irvine, Concordia University Irvine does not request any increase in full-time students on campus. The campus update plan will maintain the same number of full-time equivalent students, or 1,800 students, approved by the City of Irvine in 1993.
In addition, the campus update plan includes a request to achieve the permitted number of dorm units approved by the City of Irvine in 1993 and relocates dorms to more convenient, centralized locations closer to classrooms.
Van Blarcom noted, “We believe our campus update plan encompasses the best ideas of Concordia University Irvine’s neighbors and the campus community. Since October 2013, we have hosted a dozen meetings with local homeowners to review preliminary planning concepts. We appreciate homeowner participation and feedback and have incorporated their ideas into the campus update plan submitted to the City of Irvine today.”
Now that the application is submitted, the City of Irvine is responsible for processing the campus update plan and will review all aspects of the project in detail. The overall city review and approval process is anticipated to take approximately 10 to 12 months.
More information is available at the Campus Update web site.
About Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia University Irvine offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and adult degree programs in a beautiful Southern California location in the City of Irvine with online and regional cohort options. Concordia’s undergraduate program is distinctive among universities in California because of its nationally recognized Core Curriculum, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. Concordia University Irvine enrolls over 4,000 students.