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How the University of Nevada, Reno can Accommodate a 30,000 Student Headcount
AuthorBertain, Joshua E.
AdvisorSagebiel, John C.
Natural Resources and Environmental Science
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The University of Nevada, Reno is expected to exceed student population projections, stressing the capacity of campus facilities in 2018. With student growth outpacing capacity, questions arise related to campus planning, use of space, and sustainability. The University is planning to increase the size of campus by approximately 9 acres by expanding into the Gateway Precinct, providing land for the University to build additional residential, classroom, research, and office space. A planning approach based on two analyses – on campus residential and on campus academic and research space - modeled building densities to determine if the Gateway Precinct and identified main campus development sites will provide enough space to accommodate a student head count of 30,000. ArcMap, a Geographic Information System (GIS), assisted in modeling land cover of two building categories, campus residential, and non-residential academic and research. Existing and planned campus buildings exhibiting high, medium, or low densities were selected to be represented as building prototypes. The selected buildings include four campus residence halls and five academic and research buildings, producing a total of nine building prototypes. The parcels in the Gateway Precinct, University District, and identified on campus development sites were individually analyzed in ArcMap. All areas where development could occur were termed development sites, each sites size was calculated in square feet. Understanding the base capacity of each site and the projected gross square feet required to support a growing campus permitted the modeling of high, medium, and low density build-out scenarios. The on campus residential analysis showed that even the densest building prototype was unable to meet projected campus residential demands without requiring additional land outside of the University’s main campus and the Gateway Precinct. Results show if strictly building high density structures, the Gateway Precinct and identified main campus sites provide ample land for projected academic and research space demands. However, when adhering to medium and low density building standards, additional land outside of the Gateway Precinct and the University’s main campus will be required to sustain future demands. High density growth is recommended for the Gateway Precinct, limiting outward expansion and retaining a compact campus core, allowing University sustainability goals to be achieved.