Overview of the Renaissance Plan


The Renaissance Plan aligns the university's operations with the Envisioning 2024 strategic plan and manifests our shared responsibility to care for all that has been entrusted to us.

Context: The Growing Challenge of Campus Maintenance

Ky Snyder, Vice President of Operations

The practice of sustainability is manifested in a variety of ways around the world and on the University of San Diego campus. Environmental sustainability and its relationship to social justice is highlighted in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home, as climate change is shown to disproportionately affect poor countries and people. Financial sustainability is a concern of higher education as campuses engage in dialogue about how to deliver education in an affordable manner to a diverse population. And now, the physical sustainability of colleges and university campuses may be posing the next dilemma, as evidenced in the May 20, 2012 article “How the Campus Crumbles” in The Chronicle of Higher Education

The article notes, “Some experts estimate that deferred maintenance on college campuses amounts to about $36 billion across the country, with $7 billion of that considered urgent.” USD has joined the national concern with growing deferred maintenance. 

The concern over deferred maintenance at USD has been studied for the past several years. Many of the original systems installed in Camino, Founders, Maher, Serra and Warren Halls have yet to be replaced. This creates cascading impacts on other systems and space in these buildings. The symptoms of USD’s growing deferred maintenance include the identification of significantly rusted piping in Copley Library during the renovation of the air handling units. Inspections have also discovered leaks in underground steam and gas pipes, leaks in shower pans in Camino and Founders that are growing in number, and many other systems-related failures. All of these issues have a direct impact on classrooms and offices—many of which were recently renovated.

Assessing Current and Future Space Needs

In 2015, building portfolio solutions consultant Sightlines was hired to conduct a study and verification of USD’s deferred maintenance. With limited funds set aside to combat deferred maintenance in the past, the amount of deferred maintenance coming due on campus in the next 10 years was calculated at $312 million (Sightlines 2016). The challenge moving forward was to identify a plan to reduce this growing liability.

In 2016, the University of San Diego’s Space Working Group (SWG) — which includes the president, provost, vice presidents, associate provost, AVP for facilities management and the executive director of institutional design — and the President’s Cabinet looked at the campus’ most pressing space needs as identified by the Campus Master Plan. The plan determined areas of priority as: classrooms, faculty office space and flexible study space. These groups then began the process of developing a comprehensive plan to address deferred maintenance while pursuing the university’s strategic goals.  

The Renaissance Plan

The Renaissance Plan that emerged from this exercise is focused on three areas:

  • Annual deferred maintenance projects
  • Restoration of select legacy buildings
  • Strategic new construction

This ten-year plan will result in the reduction of the campus’ 2016 deferred maintenance by 50 percent; the restoration of select Legacy Portfolio buildings including Founders Hall, Camino Hall, Copley Library and Olin Hall; and the strategic construction of a new School of Business building, Engineering space and Mission & Ministry Center.

The Renaissance Plan will be managed by Facilities Management with oversight from the SWG. Stakeholder groups representing students, faculty and staff have been established for the Learning Commons building and Copley Library renovation, and additional stakeholder groups will be established with each forthcoming project. These stakeholder groups will create the programming for these buildings and have input at critical stages of the construction process. 

  • Annual Deferred Maintenance
  • The Legacy Portfolio
  • Funding
  • Strategic New Construction
  • Timeline