This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.

  February 3, 2003

Health Center's Updated Master Plan
Provides Framework For Growth
By Kristina Goodnough

As the Health Center moves ahead in the 21st century, it has a two-inch thick master plan to help guide its steps.

The planning document was prepared for the Health Center by Flad & Associates, a design firm with offices in Stamford, Conn., and Madison, Wis., that plans and designs clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities across the United States. "It provides a general framework for growth and development on the campus for the next 10 years," says Dr. Peter Deckers, executive vice president for health affairs.

The master plan was last revised in 1987.

The new document was developed after extensive interviews with senior administrators and meetings with more than 50 departments at the Health Center. It also included an extensive analysis of the site, the facilities, and the use of space around the campus.

"The plan touches upon many areas and provides a framework for change and growth in the future," says Susan Whetstone, chief administrative officer. "It will give the Board of Trustees and the Health Center administration help in prioritizing decisions on projects to undertake in the future. Certainly, it will be key in the decision-making process that will surround the 21st Century UConn projects."

A major recommendation of the new master plan is the adoption of campus development zones: the building on the top of the hill would continue to be devoted to research, education, and inpatient care, while a zone for ambulatory care would be established on the lower campus. The new ambulatory surgery center, for example, is recommended for a location near the Auxiliary Services Building, in order to provide better access for patients and ease the demand for parking on the upper campus.

Another zone near the medical examiner's office would be established for related organizations, such as a proposed new state laboratory the Department of Public Health has discussed locating on the Health Center campus.

"The zones are defined areas that are most appropriate for the designated uses," according to the plan. "This does not mean that there is no mixing of uses, or that the boundaries are sacred é The definition of the zones allows campus decision-makers to consider the long-term use, while making the necessary decisions for the life of the institution today."

The plan also calls upon the Health Center to establish rigorous space management procedures, because the "existing space allocation system lacks the formality that most institutions find useful." To remedy this, the Health Center has established a new space management committee, headed by Bruce Carlson, the Health Center's chief of staff.

"The committee has been charged with looking at space for the whole institution, rather than having each part of the Health Center - the schools, the clinical enterprise, the administration - manage its own space," Carlson says.

The committee will develop standards for allocating space, assign space based on a thorough analysis and strategic plan priorities, and compile a database or inventory of current space uses that will be kept up to date as departments change, among other tasks.

"Space here is at an all-time premium," Carlson adds. "The Health Center is scheduled to receive $300 million for improvements and additions to the campus under the 21st Century UConn program. We need to make sure we use our current space as efficiently as possible to allow our projected growth to take place."

Other master plan recommendations include providing additional parking space; increasing the number of private rooms in the hospital; acquiring additional property; and improving landscaping around the entrances to the Health Center.

Copies of the executive summary of the master plan are available at the Health Center from Room LM068.

Issue Index