Foundations for Planning: Mission

The process for developing new facilities for science must involve much more than physical and financial considerations. The starting point for creating a new environment for doing science must be an evaluation of the overall mission of the school and must be centered on large and sometimes difficult questions: what is a university for and what are the aims and objectives of the academic program? In answering this question and others, schools will build a stronger sense of purpose and community, as well as stronger science departments.

"Whether new campus or old, each institution deserves to be shaped by a plan that is responsive to its own realities, marked with its own distinctions, and guided by concepts that are as workable as they are attractive."
- Richard P. Dober. Campus Design

From Experience: Bucknell University

At Bucknell University, the planning problems for a new science center were complex. However, with a specific list of goals, the planners were able to come up with an appropriate and elegant plan. The new center was expected to strengthen the identity of the sciences and encourage interaction among departments, faculty, and students while addressing numerous other considerations of aesthetics and practicality. After evaluating two plans which did not measure up to their expectations, they managed to agree on a gateway scheme which solved both campus and laboratory planning issues.

Asking the Right Questions

Does our thinking about the sciences represent several independent visions or a coordinated intiturion-wide vision?

What works in the science and mathematics programs on our campus?