Capital University is seeking input from Bexley and Columbus residents as the institution embarks on drafting a campus master plan over the next several months.

"We thought it was very important to involve our community in master planning, because we are very committed to community," Capital president Elizabeth Paul said during a Nov. 27 public workshop for the plan held at Bexley City Hall. "It felt really important to us to share the ideas that are emerging."

Capital has assembled a steering committee to draft a plan that will set goals on how to better use the institution's facilities at the main Bexley campus and the downtown Columbus law school, Paul said.

"The plan will guide future investment in the campus" over the next 10 years, Paul said.

Leading the steering committee through the process is Columbus-based consulting firm NBBJ, which also led Bexley's recently completed update of the Southwest Bexley Strategic Framework. The framework provides a series of recommendations to improve the southwest area of the city and included participation from Capital and Trinity Lutheran Seminary administrators, as well as Bexley city officials and residents.

Capital's master plan has "been informed by the Southwest Bexley Master Framework," said Kim Way, NBBJ's director of urban design and planning.

Way and NBBJ planner Megha Sinha presented an overview of the current draft of Capital's master plan at the workshop. To date, Way said, Capital has conducted workshops and surveys that included participation from 300 people at the university, including faculty, staff and students. About 20 people participated in the Bexley City Hall workshop, including Capital representatives, Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler, City Council members and residents.

Among the current recommendations in the draft plan is the construction of a new parking garage, additional student housing and a new science building at the Bexley campus, which is located at the intersection of East Main Street and College Avenue. The steering committee has also discussed adding space for a business school at the existing Capital University Law School site at 303 E. Broad St.

"A lot of these recommendations could be new (buildings) or finding existing space," Way said.

For more information about the master plan and the dates of future public workshops, visit Capital.edu.

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