Winston-Salem State University Unveils 20-Year Master Plan

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Architects recently crafted a long-term vision for the Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) campus aimed to spur growth and provide students with even greater amenities. The master plan, which was revealed at the WSSU Board of Trustees meeting on June 8, proposes 1.35 million square feet of new construction; it was unanimously approved by the board after being presented by Greg Haven, planner and architect for the global design firm Sasaki Associates.

“The master plan for Winston-Salem State University’s 117-acre campus will provide a roadmap for strategic long-term growth over the next 20 years,” said Constance Mallette, vice chancellor of finance and administration for WSSU, in a statement. “Guided by the 2016-21 Strategic Plan, this document supports the growth of academic programs and advances the living/learning concept, which focuses on creating facilities that support high-impact teaching practices and enhanced student learning.”

The plan’s key elements are: Four new academic buildings to support science, allied health and graduate programs in the emerging Science District; the renovation and expansion of Hall Patterson, R.J. Reynolds Center, Hauser Hall of Music, and the Physical Plant (Arts + Visual Studies Department) to support liberal education; and the construction of two new residence halls and an expansion of Atkins and Martin-Schexnider residence halls.

Other components include expanded athletics facilities, two proposed multi-tiered parking garages, a mixed-use North Campus Gateway Center that would provide office space and a renovated library.

During the course of the nine-month “visioning process,” which began in June 2017, staff from Sasaki Associates met with WSSU administrators, faculty, staff and students to pinpoint targets for improvements, she said.

Mallette added that out of those meetings, five main ideas were incorporated as part of the vision:

  • Supporting Liberal Education and Graduation Programs: Support the growth of graduate programs by developing in the Science District, with new buildings as well as social learning spaces.
  • Engaging Communities & Enhanced Connectivity: An overhead pedestrian crosswalk to improve pedestrian safety and connectivity along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Also, two primary accessible routes through the core of campus.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Nearly $25 million in utilities and infrastructure improvements — electrical, steam, chilled water, technology — over the next five years.
  • Restore the Core: Enhancing existing open spaces to connect core activities and facilities to make the campus even more memorable.
  • Vibrant Campus Life: Creating more on-campus amenities and jobs, especially late night and on weekends, to build more of a support system and community on campus.

WSSU currently has about 5,100 students and nearly 1,000 full- and part-time employees. The master plan, which cost $450,000 to put together, prepares WSSU for 12 percent growth over the next five years. That equals about 650 additional students — divided between 441 undergraduate and 208 graduate students.

The master plan projects future construction totaling $556 million in current dollars. Nothing outlined in the plan currently has funding associated.  A committee of 32 faculty, staff, administrators and students advised on the plan.

The last master plan — also created by Sasaki Associates — was laid out in 2011. Since that time, WSSU has added more than 200,000 square feet of new and renovated spaces, with another $80 million in construction underway, and an additional $30 million that is designed but waiting on state funding.