Central Campus Planning Process - Revised Charge

The first phase of the Central Campus project has as its principal objective the development of a plan for a portion of the Central Campus area (see Central Campus master plan document) to provide housing for approximately one thousand undergraduate and other graduate and professional students in a dining, academic, recreational and service setting intended to serve not only the "local" ** residents but other campus constituencies as well. The residential accommodations for undergraduates should be understood to be primarily for seniors who are making the transition from undergraduate, campus residential life to more independent living as they embark on further educational or work experiences. The other facilities, activities and services should be planned to attract a wide range of students - undergraduate, graduate and professional - as well as others in the Duke community for both educational activities and recreation throughout the day and evening.


  • Provide independent living housing configurations to attract primarily senior undergraduate students.
  • Create an "academic village" with magnets that draw activity throughout the day and evening that is functionally integrated with the rest of campus and offers some distinctive elements that do not exist elsewhere on campus.
  • Assure a distinctive identity for Central Campus, one that arises out of a related set of complementary activities that bring together faculty, students and staff.
  • Create a memorable space.
  • Encourage exchanges between the campus and Durham and other constituencies.


  • Create a safe, supportive, vibrant undergraduate residential community that encourages social interaction and the intellectual development of students in interactions with each other, with faculty, with graduate students and with the larger Durham community.
  • Foster community and diversity.
  • Promote interactivity/engagement with Durham residents.
  • Address parking needs and transportation issues for the campus community. Achieve greater connectivity among Central, East, West, and 9th Street.
  • Reserve space for new graduate housing to be built in Phase 2 to replace and possibly expand upon current Central Campus graduate beds as they are phased out.
  • Accommodate future growth by reserving zones for elements such as: an arts corridor, a new academic enterprise, medical/research expansion, new graduate student housing and faculty/staff housing.


  • Replace existing Central Campus undergraduate beds, accommodate more upper-class students (200 students due to Pratt expansion) and provide offset for anticipated loss of space during upcoming West residential renovations (200 bed spaces).
  • Maintain, at minimum, the current number of graduate bed spaces.
  • Provide individual bedrooms around common living spaces.
  • Provide high-quality, flexible student amenities and group space.
  • Offer a range of common and dining facilities that encourage social interaction.
  • Provide support services and recreation to meet the need of the campus community.
  • Create an academic core to draw the campus community.
  • Develop a transportation infrastructure that meets the needs of the local community, the wider Duke student body, and faculty and staff who commute daily to campus. Modes will include mass transit, pedestrian and bicycle pathways, and vehicular corridors.

Priorities for Phase I Development

A review of the preliminary reports and discussions in the CCPC reveal considerable convergence of the following priorities:

  • Undergraduate beds with parking
  • Dining to serve residents plus some dining experience not available elsewhere on campus; and to include coffee shop, pub, grocery, possibly restaurant, international/ethnic food, and performance venue
  • Athletic recreation facilities
  • A desire to develop one or more core academic foci that would bring faculty and students at all levels to Central Campus. Proposals have included arts performance venues, foreign languages, international programs and the John Hope Franklin Center and Institute.
  • Academic support space
  • Multi-purpose meeting space
  • "Magnet" - Alumni center/Career center
  • Parking structure for commuters to campus, integrated with support services on the street level
  • Bookstore, probably with coffee bar and performance venue
  • Support functions, such as banking, post office, etc.
  • Possibly a Graduate Student Center, or consider this as backfill to West Campus space.

Charges to Functional Planning Groups

A: Housing & dining

This planning group will address how best programmatically to implement the revised principles and objectives related to housing and dining on Central Campus. Among the topics to be considered: the appropriate configuration of a vibrant undergraduate residential community that encourages social interaction and the intellectual development of students; the sizing of the initial construction and timing of construction of additional bed spaces; the dining options necessary to both build community and complement other dining opportunities on campus and off, drawing diners from throughout the Duke community; the opportunities to incorporate performance spaces within dining venues.

B: Academic programs and spaces

This planning group will address how best programmatically to implement the revised principles and objectives related to academic programs and spaces on Central Campus. Among the topics to be considered is what should be the intellectual core or cores of Central Campus. Suggested possibilities individually or in combination include: a nexus of activities around applied humanities and the arts (e.g., Film, Dance, Theater, small performance venues, possibly a Page replacement facility); the relocation of the John Hope Franklin Center and Institute to Central, a foreign languages center (including language instruction classrooms and the foreign language departments; an international center (possibly including Study Abroad, International House, International Office, some or all of the international area centers). The subcommittee should also consider the appropriate configuration and mix of academic support space. Finally i t should consider the opportunities to promote academic interaction and engagement with Durham residents, such as through 1) locating Continuing Education or providing significant access to its programming on Central Campus, 2) the same for DILR, and 3) via Arts facilities/programming.

C: Extra-, co-curricular and recreational activities, services and spaces

This planning group will address how best programmatically to implement the revised principles and objectives related to extra-, co-curricular and recreational activities, services and spaces on Central Campus. Among the topics to be considered: the requirements for athletic recreation such as size, priority, audience, feature attraction, etc.; the possibilities and types of extra-curricular arts and arts performance spaces (to be coordinated with the Academic subcommittee); the possibility for the creation of a media center; the requirements for Alumni/Career Center spaces, their constituencies and necessary adjacencies; the type, size and mix of functions in an appropriate bookstore; the requirements for a Graduate Student Center and whether it is best placed on Central or might be housed in backfill space on West or possibly the Alumni House; the opportunities to promote interactivity/engagement with Durham residents, such as through 1) via programming of any potential athletic fields in some type of partnership arrangement with the City's Parks & Recreation Dept., and 2) via Arts facilities/programming. Finally, it should undertake a preliminary review of the conference space needs at Duke and whether and what kinds of such facilities might be appropriate on Central Campus in light of the expanded Washington Duke Inn and whether and how space might be shared and efficiently utilized with the proposed Alumni/Career Center on Central.

D: Community affairs & Durham relations

This working group will work in conjunction with other planning groups to both inform the planning process of the issues and concerns expressed by the on-campus and the Durham communities regarding the redevelopment of Central Campus and assist in informing groups interested in the Central Campus project about the planning process and its progress on matters of mutual interest and concern.

E: Transportation, parking & security

This planning group will address how best programmatically to implement the revised principles and objectives related to transportation, parking and security on Central Campus. Among the topics to be considered: the needs for campus transportation including pedestrian, bicycle, automotive and mass transit; methods for substantially improved connectivity between East, West, the science area, Central and 9 th Street, etc. In undertaking its charge, the subcommittee should attend not only to the transportation, parking and security needs of Phase 1 but to the longer-term goals for Central Campus, including possible changes in the mixes of modes of transportation used and encouraged both for residential and non-residential on-campus and non-campus members of the Duke community as well as possible visitors to the campus.

The April reports from the subcommittees should include the overarching rationales for their proposals, how they might fit with a larger concept for Central Campus and the specific recommendations for program in their functional area, including short descriptions of what is intended for each specific program and a narrative sense of its space requirements and possible overlaps and complementarities with other programs and spaces.

March 18, 2005

**Throughout this document, "local" refers to this area of campus, and should not be mistaken for the surrounding community.