Master plan for campus adds residential options

At some point during the past year, it is very likely that many students have heard of or complained about the university’s plans to tear down the Rathskeller, but not many people know about the master plan to change the entire look of campus within the next 15 years.

Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc has developed a strategic plan for the school to become a more residential campus. With this goal in mind, there are plans in the works for new residence halls and apartments to be built. However, these will most likely not be completed until 2025.

“We are in the planning stages of the master plan for the university, which will include new residences,” said Gilbert Arias, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. “New housing is going to be a big component, but there are other academic buildings slated to be built as well.”

The next project that is being planned is an extension to the School of Business that includes dorm rooms. The Miguel B. Fernandez building has recently been approved and will also include classroom space for business students.

In addition to constructing new buildings, the university also plans to take some away.

“It is part of our master plan to tear down the [apartment area], but we have not had any significant discussions other than what is on our plans,” Arias said.

With many new projects potentially in the works, the Coral Gables campus may look – and feel – quite different in the distant future.

“The zoning document that the university submits to Coral Gables does change the way the campus looks,” Arias said. “We do want to increase the number of students living on campus, but not in the near future.”

Lindsay Noris may be contacted at

Corrections: The story incorrectly stated that President Donna E. Shalala developed the strategic plan. It was developed by Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc.

The story also incorrectly called Gilbert Arias the vice president of Student Affairs. His title is assistant vice president for Student Affairs.