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Boise State set to tweak master plan for baseball; Changes possible for Albertsons Stadium, and more too

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2019 plan map
2015 plan map

A STORY BOISEDEV MEMBERS GOT FIRST

Boise State University plans to update its campus master plan, filed with the City of Boise, this fall.

The school began a series of public meetings earlier this month – with two more on the way.

“The master plan update that we are doing is influenced primarily by the men’s baseball field on campus,” Drew Alexander Capital Asset and Development Manager for Boise State said.

[Boise State’s 2015 Master Plan]

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He said the school met with City of Boise officials who felt that the baseball stadium changes made a big enough difference that an update to the master plan should be filed.

Other small changes appear across the map.

Albertsons Stadium changes

For football fans, a new potential parking garage grabs attention. The map shows a new parking structure directly adjacent to the east side of Albertsons Stadium. The formal plan with the City of Boise also shows a potential stadium addition as well – on the north side. This also appeared on some versions of the 2015 plan as well.

The garage is new, and right now described as “visionary.”

“It’s something we’ve considered in the long term as the stadium grows,” Alexander said. “As the university grows, the parking demand increases.”

Christy Jordan, Director of Capital Planning and Space Management says the parking garage structure’s form is still to be finalized.

“It might not be attached to the stadium,” Jordan said. “It might be in the stadium lot – it’s intended to be representative and not necessarily exactly where it will be.”

Cars on University Dr. or no?

The updated master plan also marks a change for the future of University Avenue, at least for now. The 2015 version of the plan showed closing University to vehicles and making it a pedestrian and bike thoroughfare.

While that still might happen – and is part of the school’s long-term planning, it no longer appears in the formal document with the City of Boise.

“Those are really big and important conversations that are going to take a lot of time to work through with neighborhoods, the highway district and the city,” Alexander said.

To close University, the school estimates it would need to build a new street further to the south, known as Center St., as BoiseDev first reported in 2015. But the school doesn’t currently own all the land it needs to accomplish that. Campus expansion in the area is currently under study and not a formal part of its official master plan with the City of Boise.

“In our long-term vision, we haven’t given up on Center Street or that expansion area,” Jordan said. “When we went to the city (in 2015), they adopted what we called our phase one buildout only.”

More changes

Other minor updates include:

  • An expansion of the liberal arts building
  • An expansion of the school’s central plant near the quad
  • Formally replacing The Towers dorms with a new Theater Performing Arts Center in the northwest corner of the campus
  • New natatorium and Olympic sports area on the south portion of the campus, just to the west of the new baseball stadium. It would sit next to a new kinesiology building.
  • Replacement of the buildings south of the football practice field with a new STEM Academic Building
  • Cancelation of the plan to remove Riverside Hall, formerly known as the business building near Albertsons Library
  • Several new campus housing projects
  • An additional bike and pedestrian bridge over the Boise River, linking the campus to Julia Davis Park to the north.

What’s next

Neighborhood meetings on the proposed changes are set for September 10th at 6pm in the Hatch Ballroom in the Student Union Building, and on September 14th and 10am in the same location.

Jordan and Alexander say the school will submit a formal proposal to add the changes to Boise’s comprehensive plan. That will require meetings at planning & zoning and in front of Boise City Council.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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