News | Nicell outlines University master plan

McGill’s Associate Vice Principal of University Services Jim Nicell presented upcoming changes and renovations within the University’s five-year master plan to a packed McConnell auditorium Tuesday.

Nicell described the master plan – which was designed in 2001 – as the University’s long-term development strategy to “accommodate a carefully directed growth in enrolment.”

He emphasized the project’s flexibility throughout the presentation, stressing the need to keep the plan adaptable in order to address the interests of the McGill community.

“[The master plan] isn’t as simple as, ‘Here’s the plan; here’s where we’re doing for the next 30 years,’” Nicell said. “It must be flexible to the McGill community’s changing needs, priorities, and opportunities.”

He also stressed that the objective of long-term sustainability underlies every part of the implementation plan.

Nicell spent the bulk of the presentation detailing over a dozen of the plan’s impending projects, including renovations of Stewart Bio, the Bronfman Building, the Lyman Duff Building, the Otto Maass chemistry labs, and the mechanical engineering undergrad teaching lab.  He also discussed the University’s plans to build a bioengineering facility on the northwest corner of McTavish and Docteur Penfield, as well as to eliminate parking spaces on lower campus by May.

Daniel Herscovitch, U3 Civil Engineering, said that the plan seemed to represent the McGill community’s best interests. He was the most excited about the plan to make McTavish Street more of a student-exclusive domain.“I think [this] is the best project, especially for students,” Herscovitch said.

U3 Civil Engineering student Owen McGaughey, a member of the environmentalist civil engineering group Pre-Serve, said that the energy reduction clauses of the implementation plan were a step in the right direction.

“I think most staff and students are interested in seeing a more modern campus that…treads more lightly on the earth, and I think the master plan suits those desires well,” McGaughey said.

McGaughey added that he would be downloading the new master plan to look over it more closely and encouraged other students to do the same. 
The McGill University master plan can be downloaded by signing into mcgill.ca/masterplan/documentation.