The JMU Board of Visitors met in the Festival Conference and Student Center on Friday to vote on the 10-year Master Plan. The plan, which covers future renovations, expansions and new construction on JMU’s campus, is intended to be in effect through 2027.

Moseley Architects have been working on this Master Plan for nearly two years. Jeff Hyder, managing principal at Moseley Architects, and Ed Pawlowski, architect and planner at the firm, presented the plan and its land-use concepts at the Board of Visitors meeting on Friday.

The board unanimously voted to accept the new Master Plan and its land-use concepts. The plan adds a total of 2.57 million additional gross square feet — the sum of all areas on all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls in renovation and construction to JMU’s campus.

“That’s our challenge now, is how can we then integrate that space and integrate that space into multiple disciplines and how we can best serve your future,” Hyder said.

Hyder and Pawlowski presented a comprehensive plan to update and improve each section of campus. Included in the plan is a 26,000 GSF addition to Moody Hall, 56,200 GSF addition to Carrier Library, 114,757 GSF addition to Showker Hall, replacement for Phillips Hall — commonly known as Dukes and Top Dog — and six replacement residence halls in the Village containing 2,400-2,800 total beds.

There are also plans for expansions and renovations to East Campus. Among them are a 60,000 GSF addition to Rose Library, a 177,000 GSF addition to the College of Science and Mathematics and plans for a new 1,000-bed East Campus residence hall located near the old Convocation Center next to the UREC fields.  

The new 8,500-seat Convocation Center and accompanying 1,500-car parking garage are also part of the new Master Plan. There are plans for the old center to be repurposed into a multi-sport training facility.  

Redevelopment of the Village dorms was originally part of the 2008 Master Plan, but the project is still on the books. The new Master Plan includes a design for revamped Village dorms and has a goal of 8,000 totals beds on JMU’s campus.

As for dining, the main focuses of the plan are replacing Phillips Hall, adding dining options in the new Showker Hall and adding dining in the redeveloped Village housing complex. An 84,000 GSF of expanded construction for Madison Union to go along with 70,000 GSF of renovations may also house new dining options.

“We’ve spent a good part of two years now working on this process all the way through,” Hyder said. “It really has been a labor of love.”

Jonathan Alger, president of JMU, also gave his report to the board. Alger highlighted many recent areas of achievement by the university, including the two JMU faculty members to be awarded the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. Mark Gabriele, a professor in the department of biology, and Tom Moran, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology, were both recognized. JMU was the only school in the state to earn two Outstanding Faculty Awards.

“Just to get nominated is a big deal, but to have two winners is really significant,” Alger said. “So we’re very, very proud of both of them.”

Alger also noted that JMU was honored with the designation of Sustain Excellence in Assessment by the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment. JMU is one of just five institutions to date that’s received that honor.

“It was a really important moment for the university, I think, to be recognized in so many different ways among our peers from across the country,” Alger said.

The board heard various committee reports and got a General Assembly update on how state laws being proposed and passed may affect JMU. Students from JMU X-Labs also got a chance to present in front of the board and share the impact that X-Labs has had on them.

“One semester, about two and a half years ago, I took an X-Labs course and it changed my total perspective on higher education,” Nahom Fissaha, a senior engineering major, said. “All of a sudden, I saw the opportunity for students like myself to take true ownership of their higher education experience.”

The board meeting was attended by various faculty and guests from many different fields that received attention at the meeting. From the Master Plan to JMU X-Labs, the board was focused on each of the topics at hand.

“There’s a lot going on right now on campus.” Alger said. “I hope what you’ll see is the strategic plan coming to life in many, many different ways.”

Contact Thomas Robertson at For more coverage of JMU and Harrisonburg news, follow the news desk on Twitter @BreezeNewsJMU.

Thomas Robertson is a staff writer for the Breeze. He’s a senior media arts & design major. Thomas is a die-hard DC sports fan who also enjoys trying to be good at golf, listening to hip-hop and arguing about sports.