As is true of any university, Donggukians have complaints concerning their own school, DongGuk University(DGU). Followings are generally recognized as being the most serious; "I become so tired during class after climbing the steep slope starting from the station," "There are not enough library and seats available. So whenever exam period comes along, I have no choice but to go home or go to the public library to study," "What surprises me is that DGU has no dormitory for local residents. I am concerned that my parents worry about costly boarding costs." These stories about Donggukians' campus life, reveal that 'change' is vital if DGU is to satisfy their students needs and to better develop the school.
In this connection, DGU is on its way to the change. The campus master plan was revealed during the '2nd Conversation with the President' on November 4th when students and officials discussed problems at DGU. DGU began to show signs of change. For example, DGU started the addition to the main library on November 7th. Also, several roof gardens opened for operation on November 11. To sum up, we can say that changes at DGU are under way.
Planning for the new changes is something that is of immediate concern to lots of students at DGU. There are, however, still some lingering doubts as to whether DGU will fully implement their plan or not. Also, many students are not even aware that there is a campus master plan. However, the plan for change has meaning for all of us one way or another. Because of this, the post will look at the campus master plan in detail.
Part1. Background Leading To the Current Campus Master Plan
"When I first came to DGU, I was surprised at the appearance of Wonheung Hall. It looked totally like an elementary school," President Oh, said about his first impression of DGU during the '2nd Conversation with the President'. The underlying idea of this remark is that the infrastructure at DGU appears unprofessional. This explains why the school started a new campus master plan.
DGU, founded about 100 years ago in 1906, initiated the original campus master plan in order to be the leading university for over the next 100 years. The latest campus master plan, released in 2005, was created with the help of many professors, experts, foreign city planners and policy chiefs at DGU. "Developing DGU to coexist with the city of Seoul was really what this plan was all about," said Choi Tae-sook, an architect at the Office of Project Development, who is responsible for the campus master plan.
The Process Of Campus Master Plan
According to the latest plan, DGU was given public notice of the plan and invited applications for the new positions. As a result of this, an architectural firm named 'Kong-Kan' was selected to complete the campus master plan, called 'Dongguk-Do-Ryang'. This has a long range plan for the organization of facilities on the campus. Plans for improving facilities and infrastructure are part of the long range plan described in '108 Project' released in February, 2007.
To complete this plan, DGU, established the campus planning section on April 2007, which is responsible for remodeling and repairing structures on the DGU campus. Now the campus planning section has been transformed into the Development Authority to manage the campus master plan.
Difficulties With the Campus Master Plan
DGU is experiencing difficulties in realizing the vision of the campus master plan because of its geographical position, budget and space management. If these are not solved, the campus master plan is nothing but wishful thinking. For this reason, the post had an interview with Choi Tae-sook, the architect of Office of Project Development.
The Post meeting with the school official. Here are some excerpts.
Q. The height limitation on building imposed by Seoul city is generally recognized as being the most difficult problem. What can be done?
A. In order to overcome the height limitation, we had no choice but to develop under-ground. We have developed our strategic plan around the concept of an underground campus and are now examining the credibility of such an idea.
Q. The Campus Master Plan begins with money and ends with money. It is unlikely to succeed if there is not enough money. How do we deal with this problem?
A. Of course, we need a budget for making the infrastructure at DGU better. For this reason, all the members of relevant sections and offices are struggling to raise funds, such as signing a memorandum of understanding(MOU), to induce private capital and joint management.
Q. Tell me about other difficulties in fulfilling the campus master plan.
A. Facilities and the infrastructure on campus are public properties and are for education. But there's a tendency to privatize these things, which makes it hard to reorganize the space according to the campus master plan.
Part Ⅱ. In-depth view of Campus Master Plan
Our campus has become an Eco-Campus. The roof-utilization program has been implement on 6 buildings in our university. Its object is to make a sustainable change to the campus which is the main objective of the 'Campus Master Plan'. There was a ceremony for the completion of buildings on November 11st, 2008 at the Academic Cultural Center, DongGuk Hall, Hyehwa Hall, Manhae Hall, Haklim Hall, and the Student Hall. University also has another plan for extending buildings at the Information & Culture Center, New Wonheung Hall. Because of the success of the Sanglokwon‘s roof-park, we will see additional roof-parks on ten other buildings in our university. DGU is given most of the support toward roof-afforestation expenses. Maybe, we are going to set a good example for many other universities.
The Main Library
The main library's roof-afforestation will also occur along with the extension of an additional floor. The project will continue through this winter into the next summer vacation. Basic construction started last November 7th. A increase of about new 875 seats is forecast by the plan. The policy was put in operation complying with the city of Seoul's height limitation for buildings in the bottom of the Namsan area. So our university's total seats are going to increase from about 2087 to 3000. This is a very positive move for DGU students.
The Information & Culture Center building
They are also extending the Information & Culture Center building. They will start work in the middle of next year, 2009. The new area about 270 pyeong of 8 new professors' offices at a cost of about 1.3billion won. Because professors of the College of Information & Industrial Science had few offices, they had to walk a long distance from their offices at the Academic Cultural Center to their class at the Information & Culture Center.
The New Educational-Industrial Cooperative Center and Dormitories
They also plan to construct new buildings for the Educational-Industrial Cooperative Center and dormitories. They are going to construct the new building where the tennis courts are now. The projected cost is about 71 billion won for the new building which has four stories below ground and seven stories above the ground. This will help our serious shortage of space for professors' offices. Consequently, the number and quality of academic papers will improve. It includes not only the space of professors' offices but also a new dormitory with an additional costs to 2.8 billion won cost bringing the total construction costs to 28 billion won. Country students and long distances travellers were inconvenienced because our university did not have dormitories before. The Dormitories will house about 750 students. The Educational-Industrial Cooperative Center‘s construction should be completed by February, 2011.
Underground Parking Lots
Underground parking lot construction will help alleviate the parking problem between Hyehwa Hall and DongGuk Hall. It will consist of four floors of underground parking. This project will increase the quality of open space on our campus by removing. The existing above ground parking is fulfilling the 'Campus Master Plan'.
International Hall and the Foreign Exchange Student's Dormitory
The master plan also calls for the creation of the International Hall building and Foreign Exchange Student's Dormitory. The International Hall building will also have an International Meeting Room. This meeting room can hold up to 250 foreigner professors and students. International Hall will have three stories below ground and five stories above at an estimated cost of 18 billion won over three years. Establishing a new International Hall will increase our university's international exposure. Keeping pace with the new Hall, is a high-tech remote meeting room.
Escalator for Passing
An outside escalator will be established from Cheil Hospital to Student Hall. Another escalator will be built next to the station at Hyehwa entrance to DGU. This will save students time effort A person from Planning & Business said "The City of Seoul's has postponed its plan for an escalator in Jang-chung Park." The park is a convenient area for businessmen and other people to relax or do a little exercise.
Chungmuro Media Center
Another part of the plan of 'Campus Master Plan' is to renovate the 'Chungmuro Media Center'. It contract MOU is developed in cooperation with the Film Promotion Committee. Its size will be about ten thousands pyeong. Construction will begin after successfully modifying height limitation allowing for the fifteen floor structure. The anticipated date for beginning construction work would be near the end of 2009. This will improve the quality of Korea media included our film industry.
The Medical Science-Biotechnology Campus in Ilsan
The Medical Science-Biotechnology Campus Plan is create a Biotechnology complex about fifty thousands pyeong in size, in the city of Ilsan including a Medical Treatment Complex. The plan's objective is to build a global Medical Science-Biotechnology Campus. They will focus on a world class research department looking for new areas of medicine development. The most important thing is that the development will come from nongovernment sources. They will start construction in March, 2009. They will also develop a Life Science Research Center in the city of Goyang. The DongGuk Medical school will move from Ilsan to Seoul. The Oriental Medical school in Gyeongju will also be moved to the Seoul campus. Both medical schools will be completed in the near future.
Play ground and swimming pool
There are plans to develop a play ground and swimming pool area. It will be about seven thousands pyeong in size and there will be six floors of underground parking. Another building will house the Educational Research Center, Cultural Center, Gymnastic Center, and other facilities. These project involves the purchase of government lands. Our university has successfully completed negotiation with the City of Seoul. The plan also states that the work will be done without government funding.
Part Ⅲ. What problems does DGU face?
Many students are excited about the announced plan while at the same time they also have expressed concern that the school is not considering some of the problems. Their complains and questions about the campus master plan have appeared on the Inter community, D-yeon. The Post took some problems from there and asked how the school planned to deal with them.
Is it in Operation? In 2005, DGU began the preparations for the master plan. This plan included 108 project for the year 2007 but it has been delayed. Although the campus plan was officially announced on Nov. 4th, lots of students still wonder whether the school will implement the broad campus reforms. "The Campus is being improved," said Choi. Haklim Hall, Manhae Hall, DongGuk Hall and Sanglokwon were repaired in 2007 and other facilities are being up-graded for the long-range plan. The improvement plan is so costly that it will take time to search budgets, which will influence the starting of construction. Recently DGU sponsored a successful the fund raiser with the International Co-operation Department The campus plan will continue to succeed if more alumni and community leaders cooperate to raise money.
Construction Noise Students are concerned about the extension work on Library because of construction noise. The library is the main study and rest area for students and the noise creates a problem. The noise problem will be continue until the construction work is complete. The school asks students to endure the small inconveniences and consider the greater benefits They suggest that students use other reading rooms scattered around the campus. The school also says that they will stop work during the exam period.
Plans for the Engineering College When the campus plan was released, the College of Engineering students learned that their facilities was not included in the list of changes. They expressed their discontent and are awaiting an explanation from the school. The school says that they planned to improve the laboratories during the winter vacation. The first priority is to renovate the engineering laboratories for security reasons and then mount new electronic tables in each class in Wonheung Hall. The construction work on Industry-Academic cooperation center will then begin and this will provide more space for students to study. Thorough these improvements, the College of Engineering students will have a safer working environment.
Dormitory Management There are universities in Seoul whose dormitories are operated by private organization. It is referred to as BTO (Build Transfer Operate), which is a way that a private investor can invest in the construct of facilities and receive a good return on their investment. Many universities prefer BTO management because they do not have enough money to build dormitories themselves. But this is controversial because some believe the school wastes students' tuition fees in order to pay back the investment. Students may be forced to pay expensive fees for their dormitories. It may also adversely affects boarding houses around the university if the school makes the use of their dormitories mandatory for students. DGU announced that they are considering BTO management. But DGU says that if there are problems, they will take proper measures immediately. In the case of Konkuk University, they promised to provide students with scholarships from some of the proceeds from dormitory fees. We hope DGU will consider this also.
The campus master plan is a project for building school infrastructure. It must be regarded as a process to launch DGU onto the world scene. "Students' cooperation is required for this plan to work," the school added. Though there are some inconveniences, students need to endure them for a better school environment.
The Vision of the Campus Master Plan
Located on Namsan, the heart of Seoul, DongGuk University has limits on new construct, controlled by the City of Seoul. The lack of spaces on campus is the most serious issue. The university recognized this when creating the Campus Master Plan.
The campus plan aims not only to expand space for our school but also to create a sustainable campus as a partner with Namsan. An eco-friendly campus which protects green area is shown by roof parks on ten buildings and it has the possibility of being the noted place. The campus facilities master plan intends to share the campus with the local community. Underground parking will replace exiting above ground parking spaces creating a cleaner campus and one more open to the public. The results will be a better image for DGU and will help satisfy the needs of the local community.
"The Campus Master Plan is not a futuristic vision, it is here now," says Oh Young-gyo, the President of DGU. This plan is the first step to create a new future for our university. When school members all band together to advance for a better future, the campus plan will be succeeded, and it will be the basis for DGU as a worldwide university.
Jun Ji-min reporter email@example.com
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