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WCU Campus Master Plan

Embracing its vision to be a beacon of student learning and engagement, Western Carolina University (WCU) has strategically updated its Campus Master Plan in alignment with its commitment to being a vital regional institution. Following the impactful execution of its 2014 master plan, WCU partnered again with Hanbury in 2021 to refine its blueprint for the future, drawing upon extensive feedback from the campus community.

The revised plan champions WCU's strategic goals through a lens of sustainability, focusing on optimizing existing infrastructure, promoting multi-modal connectivity, and preserving the natural beauty of its mountainous locale. Central to the plan is the preparation for an expected enrollment surge, necessitating over 500,000 square feet of new space to support this growth.

Efforts concentrate on three pivotal areas: enhancing the core academic and student life zones to bolster infrastructure use and foster collaboration, revitalizing the Cullowhee Creek Corridor for recreational and ecological purposes, and bridging the East and West campuses to encourage unity and sustainable development.

Key accomplishments from the original plan include the creation of three residential communities, expansion of dining facilities, the establishment of a new science building and parking structure, and the enhancement of numerous outdoor spaces. A mixed-use student residential area introduces a vibrant "main street" atmosphere, effectively integrating academic and social hubs into a dynamic central artery, bridging the Upper and Central Campus with ground-level retail and dining.

  • Sector: Higher Education
  • Scope: Planning
  • Cullowhee, North Carolina
  • 2021
  • 589 acres
Project Team
D. Keith Storms
Desing Principal/Planner
Elizabeth Morgan
Co-Project Manager/Planner
Scott Evans Miller
Lead Planner
Ashley Montgomery
Space Programmer
Katrina Van Orden
McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
Associate Architect
Stanford White
Infrastructure Consultant
Technology Planner
JMZ Architects and Planners
Space Planners
Civil Design Concepts
Civil Engineering
Transportation Planners
Biohabitats, Inc.
Sustainability Planners