The plans represent an eight to 10 year project that will likely be built in three phases. The timing of those phases will be dictated by the university’s growth, according to Wilmington University spokesman Laurie Bick.
The full designs dictate that buildings, parking lots, roadways and sidewalks will ultimately occupy about 12 acres of the property with open space remaining on 29 acres of the 41-acre tract.
The plans call for three separate three-story buildings totaling about 200,000 square feet of space to be used primarily for classrooms and faculty office space. This will be the largest capital improvement program in the university’s 46-year history.
Pending approvals, construction on the first building, representing the first of three phases, could begin in a year to 18 months, Bick said.
The full plans call for three buildings framing an existing wooded area and pond. The university wants to maintain that wooded and wet area as something pleasant for students to look at, Bick said.
“We are going to do the best we can to blend a welcoming presence and not detracting from the natural beauty of the location,” Bick said. “By the time it is completed, it will be a lovely gateway but will not stick out like a sore thumb.”
The buildings will be designed to combine the university’s traditional aesthetic of brick with more modern elements like an extensive use of glass. Homsey Architects and Rodney Robinson Landscape Architects have been charged with the facility’s design.