Taylor University has released an innovative and future-looking Master Plan outlining a significant slate of investments that will be made on its Upland, Indiana campus over the next five years. The plan lays a framework for infusing more than $100 million into capital projects on campus, of which $70 million is already in progress. Taylor’s Campus Master Plan follows Taylor Thrives, the University’s five-year strategic plan released in 2022.
Taylor’s vision for significant investment extends beyond the campus and includes their local community. Earlier this year, Taylor received a $250,000 community planning grant that allowed the University to bring together local leaders and conduct a strategic planning process to identify areas of economic growth for Upland. This study led to the Main Street Mile Initiative, a transformational economic plan for the development of the one-mile stretch between Taylor’s campus and downtown Upland. The planning process served as a catalyst for the University to apply for additional grant money and identify private investors from its alumni and parent base, as well as community members and friends of the University.
These investments are complemented by Indiana’s $18 million Upland streetscape project which includes a repaved Main Street, wider sidewalks, improved curbs, and new streetlights contributing to a welcoming aesthetic for the downtown area.
Indiana Secretary of Commerce, David Rosenburg, visited Taylor’s campus earlier this month as a judge for the University’s annual Shark Tank competition event. “I’m thrilled to see Taylor University continue to build upon its legacy as a top-notch academic institution in the state committed to making positive change,” said Secretary Rosenberg. “Taylor is thriving and is well-equipped to lead the charge for economic growth and development in Upland, not just by enhancing its own campus, but also by investing in key areas of its community.”
Counter to trends of diminishing enrollment around the country, Taylor, the oldest non-denominational university in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), has welcomed back-to-back record-breaking freshmen classes and leads Indiana in the recruitment of traditional, undergraduate, freshman for Christian colleges. The University is on track to break another enrollment record next fall when it welcomes its 2024 freshman cohort. During this period of historic growth, the University’s Senior Leadership and Board of Trustees recognized the strategic opportunity to review Taylor’s building and infrastructure needs alongside Taylor Thrives to ensure facilities would serve the campus well now and into the future and support the expanding student body.
The $100+ million in planned campus investments is allocated towards five core areas: academic buildings, dining facilities, residence life, hospitality, and co-curricular investments. Significant projects include:
Horne Academic Center
This 45,000 square foot academic facility, anticipated to open August 2024, will be home to Taylor’s award-winning Film and Media Arts program. It will also house the University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a Taylor Thrives initiative, that will offer every incoming first-year student, regardless of major, the opportunity to earn a minor or certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Nussbaum Science Center and renewal of current academic buildings
Renovations of the Nussbaum Science Center will begin next month, resulting in a first-class training facility for Taylor’s future School of Nursing. Pending accreditation approval, the nursing program will begin accepting students for the 2024-25 academic year.
A recent nearly $2 million grant from the Don Wood Foundation has provided funding for enhancing Taylor’s engineering facilities. The University renovated the Rupp Communications Arts Center last summer and has plans to renovate the Reade Liberal Arts Center.
Hodson Dining Commons and additional food venue near University Library
One of the most ambitious projects underway is a full renovation of Hodson Dining Commons. The reconstruction project includes a 650-seat event center with outdoor dining and gathering spaces overlooking Taylor Lake. The Hodson expansion and the addition of a new food venue near the University’s library will double the school’s dining capacity.
Taylor broke ground last week on new apartment-style housing for upperclassmen and graduate students.
Welcome Center: Taylor’s New Front Door
Taylor’s Admissions and Alumni offices welcome thousands of visitors to campus and Upland each year. The 20,000+ square foot Welcome Center will house Admissions, Advancement, Alumni and Parent Relations, Marketing, and the President’s office.
Athletic Facilities Investments
Investments in Taylor’s athletics facilities include renovations to Odle Arena, construction of the Stillman Fieldhouse, and a state-of-the-art workout facility for athletes. Plans are being finalized for a Trojan Athletics Club adjacent to the football stadium.
“These are exciting times of growth and investment,” said President Michael Lindsay. “We are working hard to make the Taylor campus more beautiful, engaging, and an inspiring place where our students can thrive. From new academic spaces to residence halls, to co-curricular investments, we want this campus and our local community, which students call home, to be a great place of flourishing.”