With a series of poster boards, a number of campus maps and whole lot of colorful stickers, the entryway to the Merced College Bookstore resembled a Candyland board gone wild.
The College and Gensler, a design and architecture company based out of San Francisco, teamed up to host a Vision Session on both the Merced and Los Banos campuses on Thursday, Nov. 15. The goal was to attain vital information from students, staff, faculty, administrators and the public regarding their impressions of Merced College and their hopes for its future.
It was the latest step in the College’s creation of a new Facilities Master Plan.
“This is just an engagement activity for the students, community, faculty and staff,” Gensler Designer Sydney Wallace said. “It allows us to get a better understanding of their experience on campus. We were at Los Banos from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then Merced from 1-5 p.m. We’re kind of getting a gauge on how much time you spend on campus, what is your commute like, as well as your favorite and least favorite places on campus.”
Gensler set up eight different boards, spread across the Bookstore lobby. Each board had its own set of instructions and participants used colorful stickers to express their answers in a clear and visual way. The boards dealt with things like time spent on campus, commute, culture, activities, the top study spots and what people thought the College was badly in need of fixing or adding.
“Because Los Banos is such a small campus, they’re responses were pretty consistent and straight forward,” Wallace said. “They’re basically looking for better food and entertainment options.
“Merced’s campus is much more spread out, so you’re seeing a little more variety in the answers. We can see the paths that are most commonly used, where people go when they’re on campus. And then we have the open board, where people can kind of put their wish list of where they’d like to see Merced College go in the future.”
The data collected, along with the new Educational Master Plan, will be used to help the College formulate its new Facilities Master Plan, plotting a course for the campus facilities over the next five years.