Key Capabilities: Outstanding Facilities

State-of-the-art facilities—including classrooms, laboratories of all kinds, library and information technology resources, residence halls, faculty workplaces and recreational spaces—are crucial to achieving our ambitions for the University of Delaware.

As noted elsewhere in this report, major facilities projects are underway. The site has been cleared for the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory, and we have begun decommissioning and demolition at the former Chrysler Newark Assembly Plant, which will be redeveloped into a science and technology campus.

Several projects of lesser scale are underway as well. Relocating UD’s bookstore to Main Street is a tangible example of our strong connection to a vibrant downtown Newark and our commitment to projects that contribute to the quality of life in our surrounding communities. A master plan for the campus—including academic, residential, athletic and transportation facilities—was undertaken in conjunction with the Path to Prominence, and both plans continue to be refined as needs and opportunities evolve.

The University faces significant near-term facilities challenges. Classroom and research space on campus, as well as library and academic support space, is extremely tight, and it is difficult to meet the space requirements that aggressive faculty hiring and growth in research and scholarship will create. In addition, the quality of many University facilities constructed in the 1970s and 80s is not adequate for the demands placed on them today, and the maintenance and operation of these remain a challenge at all University locations. Surge and swing space to accommodate activities and units displaced by renovation and new construction is also needed. The recently formed University Space Committee will improve UD’s space management.

Finally, as we consider both renovation and new construction, it is important that our plans recognize the human activities they support and that they advance our commitment to sustainability in measurable ways.