FAMU Growth Development Plan Gets Closer to Approval

Florida A&M University Facility Planning Department is creating the 2015- 2020 Growth Development Plan. This campus expansion is expected to close Wahnish Way to all automobile traffic, and seven additional parking garages may be in FAMU’s future.      

The City of Tallahassee Growth Management Department works closely with FAMU FPD.

Karen Brown, Associate Director of FAMU FPD said, “When we have an idea we sit at a table and talk about the impact it will have on city. It’s about sharing and ensuring that what we need and what they need is all congruent. We have had four years of a great relationship with our host community.”

The two departments share a proactive relationship, but all needs cannot be satisfied on each agreement.

Karen Jumonville, Director of the Growth Management Department said, “ The city has to make sure FAMU’s requested developments do not impact the neighborhoods, storm water drains, utilities or roadways.”

“It is unlikely that the city will approve FAMU’s idea to close down Wahnish Way, due to the fact that this will cause the campus to expand into the surrounding neighborhoods,” Jumonville said.

An updated master plan, that was submitted to the city in Nov. 2012, reflected some ideas that were set to take place within this current developmental planning period. In this master plan FDP proposed to expand the campus into the  Bond neighborhood, to close Wahnish Way, and construct seven parking garages, three of which would expand to the nearby Bond neighborhood.

Since the updated agreement, FAMU’s FDP and the City’s Growth Management Department have met numerous times and have agreed that there will be no formalized plans to expand the campus into the nearby Bond neighborhood. Yet further discussion will take place during the next cycle when FAMU adopts it next master development plan.

Mayor Andrew Gillum and City Commissioners approved FAMU’s updated 2010 – 2015 campus development agreement on January 28. This past campus agreement included the construction of the new dormitory, Famu Village.

Monica Myrick, freshman and resident assistant, in FAMU Village East Wing, is happy and very satisfied with FAMU’s recent developments. She hopes that the university continues the developments with renovating older dorms like Paddyfote Complex and Gibbs Hall. Myrick doesn't believe that closing a heavily trafficked street like Wahnish Way will serve any good purpose.

"That’s like the easiest way to get to the Rec centers and the police department. I don't think the traffic is that bad. I don't think closing the street would truly make a difference,” Myrick said. 

The 2015-2020 agreement will be ready for approval December 3- 4 by the FAMU Board of Trustees, following the approval by the City Commission.