WMU Campus History

Circa 1962
Proposed Campus Plans for Western Michigan University

1962 Maps      Planning History

bullet These proposed campus plans are from the early 1960s.  Goldsworth Valley Group #3, completed in 1965, is shown on the plan, however Kohrman Hall and the Trimpe Building, which were constructed in 1966, are not.  This indicates that this plan dates from the planning of Goldsworth #3 in 1962-63, but before the planning for either Trimpe or Kohrman.

bullet Western Michigan University, like most colleges and universities at the time, experienced tremendous increases in enrollment in the 1960s.  This created a severe housing shortage at a time when it was customary for about half of all students to live on campus.  Plans for up to six major residence halls in the Goldsworth Valley would have tripled the housing supply on campus.   By 1970, though, student demographics had changed.  Not only was the enrollment growth rate slowing, but more students were preferring to live off-campus.  The reduced demand on housing eliminated the need for 3 of the 6 proposed Goldsworth Valley units.

bullet Note that this plan also pre-dates the extension of Oliver Street westward to Stadium Drive (the extension would be completed by 1970).  The plan also illustrates an early version of a loop road around the south and west boundaries of the campus.

Pass pointer over plan to view comments.
Click here for enlargement
planning map West Michigan Avenue Proposed Oliver Steet extension Proposed extension of Howard Street Stadium Drive

"Track Record":  How the 1962 Plan stood the test of time ....
  • #1 - Residence Halls: 6 proposed for the "North Valley", 3 were built
  • #2 - Amphitheatre and Shell: not built
  • #3 - Women's Physical Education Building: not built. Addition to Gary Physical Education Building was built in 1964, women's softball field (Ebert Field) constructed in the late 70's
  • #4 - Speech Clinic: not built. At the time, a "Speech Annex" was located in a small building located between Waldo Stadium and Spindler Hall. When a new Health Services Building (Sindecuse Health Center) was built on West Campus in 1969, the Speech Clinic and the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology were able to move into the vacated Health building on East Campus. The Speech program would remain on East Campus until the College of Health and Human Services moved into its own building in 2005.
  • #5 - Classroom Building: not built.
  • #6 - Physical Science Lab and Classroom Building: built at different location. The site for #7 would become Rood Hall in 1970.
  • #7 - Undergraduate Library: built, but not as a single building. To accommodate the need for more library space, two new classroom buildings would include libraries (Sangren Hall and the Education Library, built in 1964; Rood Hall and the Science Library, built in 1970). Waldo Library itself would receive an addition in 1967.
  • #8 - Education and Classroom Building: built in 1964 (Sangren Hall).
  • #9 - Classroom Building: built, but not as a single building and not in that location. The Knauss-Friedman-Dunbar classroom and office complex would be completed in 1971, just north of Brown Hall.
  • #10 - Industrial and Engineering Technology Building: built in 1965 on the site of #12 (Kohrman Hall).
  • #11 - Art Center: built in 1982. State budget problems in the 70's delayed many institutional building projects including this one. When finally realized, the Dalton Center would house Music and Dance, but not Art. The Department of Art would be earmarked for relocation into Kohrman Hall after it was vacated by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2003.
  • #12 - Liberal arts and Classroom Building: built in 1967 (Brown Hall), although location moved east to just north of the Theatre building.
  • #13 - Auditorium: built in 1967 (Miller Auditorium).
  • #14 - Auditorium Classroom and Theatre Wing: Theatre and classroom building (Shaw Theatre) finished in 1967, with connection to Auditorium Building; lecture
  • auditoriums would be included in the Instructional Facility Complex (Friedman-Dunbar-Knauss Halls) in 1971.

 

 

 

 

Planning Division of Facilities Management; Mail #5313
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5313 USA
(269) 387-8543 or 387-8544 | (269) 387-8818 Fax
campus-facility@wmich.edu

 

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