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Member Profiles 2011: Campus Planning and Design (Part 2)

This article is the second in a series profiling members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs), based on responses to the 2011 Annual PPN Survey. Most of the respondents to the survey are employed by universities or are associated with private companies that do work for universities. Many are placing a greater emphasis on sustainability and collaborating with other landscape professionals and members of the community regarding landscape upgrades. 

Following is more detailed information about particular members of this PPN.

Terry Ryan, FASLA, is a partner at Jacobs/Ryan Associates in Chicago. She is interested in learning how to increase landscape development budgets and/or the role of landscape architects in campus developments.

Larry T. Wilson, FASLA, is retired and living in Iowa City, Iowa. Although he has retired, he likes to hear about issues he faced as the campus planner for the University of Iowa.

Peggy Van Yahres, ASLA, is a principal at Van Yahres Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia. The firm recently completed the design for the seven-acre Central Mall at the University of Dayton. A key issue in this project was how to integrate stormwater collection systems beautifully and seamlessly into the overall campus design. The firm will continue to investigate this issue as it designs a large memorial garden at Shenandoah University and many other campus projects.

Carter van Dyke, ASLA, is a principal at Carter van Dyke Associates in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Recently, his firm completed the Parent's Plaza at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was very pleased at the tremendous impact the project made on the campus community. His firm also finished the new central quadrangle at Bryn Athyn College in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. His areas of interest include developing sustainable landscapes within a campus environment and reinventing a campus following an outbreak of violence.

Richard Prakopcyk, ASLA, is a vice president at HDR Inc. in Princeton, New Jersey. In the past year, he addressed sustainability issues in designing buildings for an existing campus.

He would like to learn more about winning contracts within the higher education market, working better with the campus facility staff, the value of design within the higher education market, and gaining a better understanding of the community college marketplace.

Don Staley, ASLA, is senior landscape architect in Physical & Capital Planning at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. In the past year, he has been involved with the development of the Purdue Arboretum, which was established in April 2009. This project has been a collaborative effort among Purdue’s departments of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Physical Facilities, and Physical & Capital Planning. The arboretum covers the entire academic campus and was made possible by decades of tree protection and greenspace development. While desired for decades, the project was finally made a reality by current university administrators and physical-facilities leaders.

Matt Gart, ASLA, is the campus landscape architect at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia. Recently, he has worked on developing new campus precincts at the university. He is interested in learning more about funding strategies for landscape improvements.

Stephen Volkmann, ASLA, is the university landscape architect at Ohio State University in Columbus. Last year, the university participated in comprehensive framework planning that brought together the fiscal, physical, and strategic planning efforts of the university into one plan. His primary interests are stormwater management, materials selections, urban forest management, low-maintenance landscapes, lighting, and master planning.

Paul Spaulding, ASLA, is director of Campus Planning, Design & Construction Management at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. The most important issues that he sees currently are campus growth and development, sustainability, bike storage, and circulation. He notes that the university has started a separate landscape master-planning effort that, while in its infancy now, promises to be an exciting endeavor.

John Jackson, ASLA, is a landscape architect at RATIO Architects Inc. in Indianapolis. His firm is working with Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, Colorado, on the site design for a new engineering academic building there. He has found the process with CSU’s design staff to be tremendously collaborative. In addition, this was the first opportunity to work on a site design for the CSU campus, so it allowed his firm to approach the project with fresh eyes.

Jackson really enjoyed getting to know the campus, user groups, and the Fort Collins community. CSU possesses a very strong common vocabulary of materials that ties the campus together but also gives it a uniquely Colorado flavor. The team enjoyed learning this vocabulary, interpreting it during the project, and bringing some new thoughts to the process. Currently, the firm is completing design development.

Jackson is interested in learning more about new, sustainable approaches to the campus landscape—in particular, whether anyone is taking a serious stab at implementing alternatives to manicured turf on the ground plane.

Bruce Maw, ASLA, is a landscape architect at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. He worked with a BYU civil engineer and a design firm on a large (million-dollar) project to re-landscape the south and west BYU campus hillside. The intent of the project was to beautify an abandoned canal that ran through the area. Because the existing canal no longer contained water, the design included a pump system to transfer water from a lower portion of the site to fill a 2,520-foot-long stream and then recirculate the water. The design also included river rock banks, five decomposed granite-surfaced pullouts for viewing, 12 benches for seating, five waterfalls, and five pergola/picnic sites along the adjoining concrete block pathway. The project was completed in November 2010.

Cortney Kirk, ASLA, is a landscape designer at Payette Associates in Boston. In her experience, a key issue when working with colleges and universities on a landscape design is how to communicate more effectively with campus physical-plant directors and maintenance crews. Many new green technologies such as green roofs, rain gardens, interior gardens, and planting with native plants bring up new maintenance issues with which many physical plant departments are unfamiliar. The designer often needs to mediate between the client and maintenance staff to rise from the “riding lawnmower” mentality.

In the past year, Kirk has worked to save an existing memorial garden on a Massachusetts campus that helped found the school’s science department. The project, which is currently in construction, is updating and expanding the science building as well as adding additional teaching gardens that focus on native plant communities.

Joshua R. Berry, Student ASLA, is a graduate student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. While working on his BSLA at the University of Kentucky, he came to appreciate both the differences and similarities in campus styles in visits to Duke University and North Carolina State University. This appreciation has continued in his current experience on the University of Florida’s campus. These observations also gave him insights into how various campuses might be designed or planned.

Among issues Berry would like to explore are the psychological implications of various design methods and strategies in campus settings, and the analysis of current guidelines for designing or expanding campuses; how new methods of learning (e.g., extensive use of the Internet, various types of design software) affect how campuses should be designed; some of the overall styles or frameworks for campus designs; and primary examples of historic campus designs in the United States and elsewhere.

Visit the Campus Planning and Design PPN web page for more information about this PPN. To learn more about ASLA's other PPNs, go to the PPN home page or contact Rachel Shaw, ASLA's manager of Professional Practice, at

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