Space Planning Principles

Space planning at Western should be guided by the following principles:

  1. University Strategic Plan:  Space planning at Western should directly support the priorities outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan and should also be aligned with Faculty Academic Plans and Support Unit Operational Plans.

  2. Space in the Centre of Campus:  Space associated with activities that directly support and enhance the student experience should be given the highest priority in the centre of campus.  Such activities include instructional facilities, faculty offices, library and student computing facilities, student services, and other academic support areas such as academic counselling.

  3. Assessing Space Needs:  New/incremental space should be targeted towards programs/areas with the greatest needs.  The need for additional space should be directly linked to Faculty Academic and Support Unit Operational Plans.  The assessment of space needs should be guided by an analysis of actual space compared to required space according to standards for space allocation applied across the Ontario university system.

  4. Interaction and Collaboration among Students, Faculty, and Staff:  Planning and design of new space should support and enhance interaction among the members of the University community – our students, faculty, and staff.  New space should promote a sense of “community” and should also facilitate success in interdisciplinary and pan-University initiatives.

  5. Design of Space:  As we create new space – either through new construction or through renovations to existing space – it is important that space is designed in a manner that is flexible and easily adaptable to the constantly-changing University environment.  In addition, it is important that the design of space include the appropriate provisions for common or gathering space that would allow for informal interaction/collaboration among students, faculty, and staff.

  6. Management of Space:  All property at Western is under the authority of the Board of Governors.  The President has assigned management of academic and general use space to the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) and management of all other space to the Vice-President (Resources and Operations). The need to respond to a constantly changing environment requires us to ensure that space is readily reassigned.  This in turn requires that we follow guidelines with regard to the design, use, and management of space:
    • Space should be designed in a manner that is flexible and easily adaptable.
    • Decisions on the use of academic University space, including its reassignment, are taken under the Provost’s authority, in consultation with the Deans, as appropriate.
    • While the Provost will consult with the Deans on the definition of academic University space, his decision on the boundary between general use space allocated to the Faculties will be final.
    • Decisions on the use of space allocated to the Faculties, including its reassignment, are taken under the Dean’s authority, in consultation with Chairs and Directors, as appropriate.

  7. Provision and Approval of Amenities:  The provision of services to the University community including food and other types of amenities should reflect the strategic priorities of the University. Current services will continue and new ones be introduced only if they are financially viable and sustainable.  The space in which they are housed should be designed to be flexible and welcoming to the University community. Approvals for food service or other commercial amenities will come through the Vice-President (Resources and Operations).

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