Facilities Master Plan
Urbana Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin announced that the City of Urbana has contracted with CannonDesign and its Chicago-based team to develop a long-term Facilities Master Plan.
“Conducting a facilities and programming needs assessment has been one of my top priorities.” Marlin said. “We are excited that CannonDesign will guide us through the creation of a sound, actionable, and fiscally responsible facilities plan. This, in turn, will help support government functions and provide a framework for budget decisions.”
She noted that the process also would provide critical information regarding City-owned sites in downtown Urbana.
“The Master Plan needs to both inform and respond to on-going planning and economic development activities downtown, consistent with the Mayor/Council Priorities for 2018-2021,” Marlin said.
The City released a Request for Proposals in April 2018 with the intent of retaining a consulting firm qualified to perform municipal facility planning services including building condition assessment, space and programming needs assessment, and development of a long-term Facilities Master Plan. The Facilities Master Plan will focus on preservation and re-use, potential redevelopment, and/or adaptation of current facilities as well as planning for new facilities for anticipated City needs for the next thirty years.
“The path toward the future always begins with a strong vision, and we’re excited to be a part of the City of Urbana’s vision to set the stage for the future,” said Swapna Sathyan, Director of Workplace Strategy Consulting and Change for CannonDesign. “We applaud City of Urbana leaders for their foresight and look forward to working with the city on this seminal effort.”
The Cannon proposal was selected based on their well-defined approach, extensive subject matter expertise, and successful history on similar projects.
“CannonDesign is highly-qualified to conduct this analysis with a human-centered focus. We will gain the information we need to make knowledgeable choices about resource allocation, maintenance, and repair for our facilities. We also will determine space and programming needs, analyze organizational structure, explore how to increase efficiencies for City staff, and ways to better provide City services,“ Marlin noted.
The project will be overseen by Vince Gustafson, Urbana Public Facilities Manager, in coordination with an internal Facilities Committee. It will be conducted in three phases. Phase I will consist of a full conditional assessment of existing municipal facilities to categorize immediate, short-term, and long-term repair and replacement needs. This work is scheduled to begin immediately. Phase 2 will include a space needs assessment to evaluate how work is performed within and among departments and the adequacy of the space currently provided. Phase 3, with information developed in Phases 1 and 2, will provide a master plan which takes into consideration the City’s anticipated future needs for space and the organizational use of such space, including development or use of space not currently owned, operated or used by the City, if such additional space is deemed necessary to the cost effective and efficient operation of City government.
“Well maintained and functional facilities play a key role in the City’s ability to provide the services its citizens and visitors rely upon. These planning efforts will allow the City to make much needed facilities improvements in a strategic and fiscally responsible manner,” Gustafson said.
As of January 2022 the City of Urbana will begin to implement the Facilities Master Plan. First project to get underway is construction of a long-overdue vehicle storage building at the Public Works complex on Glover St. This will provide space to store our valuable equipment inside. It will help protect these assets, and facilitate repairs and maintenance, and support City employees.
Later this year, work will begin in the lobby of the City Building. The interior space will be reconfigured to serve the public more efficiently, provide a better work environment for our employees, and enhance safety and privacy for those who visit Urbana's public safety offices.
Also in the queue are two new fire substations to replace the outdated facilities on South Philo Road and North Lincoln Avenue. Architects have begun to design these substations which will better serve the fire and medical response needs today and into the future.
"We’ve worked very hard to complete the necessary studies and rebuild our financial foundation so that we can now begin to make major investments in our infrastructure. You’ll continue to see significant changes over the next few years as we implement the Facilities Master Plan. That was one of my goals when I took office and I’m proud that we’ve reached this point" Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin said in her video The Mayor's Message January 2022.
Updates will be posted as the City moves forward with this plan.