USF working on campus master plan to include centralized student center

November 9, 2022

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—With a goal of continuing tremendous student success, the University of Saint Francis will move forward on a master plan to enhance the main campus, including the development of a centralized student center.

The USF Board of Trustees approved the trajectory of the master plan, which includes short-term and long-term goals. The student center is a priority of the short-term plan with an anticipated completion date of approximately two to four years. USF is currently working on funding options.

“We at the University of Saint Francis are excited about moving ahead in heightening the campus experience for our students and working toward the long-desired launch of a student center,” USF President Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer said. “Our primarily undergraduate student population desires a center as a unifying element. We look forward to investing in our first-ever student center on the shores of Mirror Lake.”

USF’s picturesque Fort Wayne campus covers 132 acres, with an additional 4.3 acres in downtown Fort Wayne and nearly seven acres at USF Crown Point in Crown Point, Indiana. In addition to the main campus student center, other campus expansion and improvements are part of the long-term master plan.

Renderings of the potential student center, to be located south of Brookside mansion, were designed by BHDP:

USF Student Center Rendering 1
USF Student Center Rendering 2
USF Student Center Rendering 3
USF Student Center Rendering 4
USF Student Center Rendering 5

Initial parts of the master plan will include improving campus entrances, gateways and signage, and taking some office functions out of Trinity Hall and replacing them with student engagement spaces. Also, USF anticipates a variety of other improvements and additions. Long-term plans include investment in upgrading student residence halls and athletics.

“USF’s reputation for developing quality leaders—guided by our Catholic, Franciscan values—has never been stronger,” Fr. Zimmer said. “But we will not rest on our laurels. Establishing and implementing a master plan to grow the University is imperative. We will put forth every effort into ensuring our current and future students achieve successes and we will not veer from taking the necessary steps to produce essential higher education.”

As part of the master plan, USF will work with the City of Fort Wayne to repurpose its downtown property, including the USF Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center, to continue to benefit the downtown area.

“We want to ensure our downtown property’s progression is in the best interests of the city and of our mission,” Fr. Zimmer said. “We will work with the city in proper utilization of the property while continuing our strong support of the arts.”

USF has expanded the property of its main campus at 2701 Spring Street by eight acres over the past two years, including acquiring the Fort Financial building on the northwest side of campus and other nearby property. USF recently embarked on other projects, completing a turf upgrade and beginning construction of end zone suites at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium.

“Everything we do is geared toward student success and increasing our already laudable career success rate of 99% (class of 2021 graduates employed, pursuing further education or serving in the military),” Fr. Zimmer said.