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Facilities Plan

Continuing to expand the quality and diversity of facilities and academic space for students, faculty and staff will have a significant impact on the university's ability to meet the challenges of the next century.

The 2025 Design and Master Plan supports facility master principles that include:

  • Protecting historic buildings and open spaces
  • Extending and enhancing the character of campus through contextual design of future buildings
  • Creating and promoting environments for learning, research and social engagement
  • Promoting sustainability, environmental design and energy conservation
  • Planning for future facilities, considering the displacement of existing uses and incorporating comprehensive operational costs
  • Supporting the strategic development of a pedestrian-friendly campus
  • Integrating modern technology.

The 2025 Design and Master Plan builds on key guiding principles developed in the 2025 Facility Master Plan and the 2002 Millennium Master Plan that include:

  • Maintaining existing functional districts that include academic facilities concentrated within the pedestrian core of campus
  • Locating campus housing for first- and second-year students in the southeast corner of campus in close proximity to student amenities and support facilities, thus allowing for an on-campus upper-division neighborhood to be developed in the northwest area of campus
  • Enhancing academic and functional zones, primarily in relation to agricultural sciences, life and health sciences, visual and performing arts, engineering, the academic core, and athletics
  • In-filling existing campus footprint with new construction

In addition, all new construction or major renovation projects must meet high-performance green building standards — a silver rating under the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and a two-globe rating under the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes rating system – in accordance with South Dakota Codified Law 5-14-32, passed by the 2008 Legislature.

Land Use

Land use historically has been a major consideration in campus development. The character of any campus is defined by the unique details of its landscape, including campus greens, pedestrian corridors, gateways, building placement and orientation, and public art. Each of these landscape components leaves visitors with lasting impressions that define the university image.

As previously stated, the 2025 Facility Master Plan design framework sets the standard for transforming the existing core of campus. In addition to working within the campus footprint, that plan also established a key guiding principle of expanding and preserving campus green spaces through a series of pedestrian corridors created by reducing or eliminating vehicle traffic in the campus core. This principle addressed a goal of minimizing pedestrian/vehicle conflict.

The 2010 Parking Study confirmed this and concluded that it is imperative to decrease the amount of parking in the center core of campus in order to improve pedestrian safety and experiences. The findings of the parking study show that parking can be removed successfully from the campus core and consolidated along the outer edge of campus, while still providing adequate campus parking within a reasonable distance from destinations throughout campus. It is also, therefore, understood that the redistribution of parking will serve as the primary catalyst for overall implementation of the 2025 Design and Master Plan.


The university is committed to providing equal access for all individuals to its facilities throughout campus. The development and improvement of all campus facilities must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and the accessibility requirements of applicable building codes. All walkways essential to reaching a building or program will be built to adhere to the latest ADA guidelines, providing equal access to public spaces. Parking will be developed in a manner that allows for flexible placement of accessible parking stalls, responding to the changing needs of the students, faculty, staff and visitors.


South Dakota State University is committed to sustainability, sound conservation practices and environmental responsibility. In addition to the previously stated LEED certification standards, the university-wide guidelines in support of sustainability practices, which will be reviewed and updated periodically, are:

  • Incorporating the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency in all planning, capital projects, renovation projects, operations and maintenance within budgetary constraints and programmatic requirements
  • Minimizing the use of nonrenewable energy sources, increased use of local renewable energy, and implementation of conservation measures that reduce energy consumption
  • Supporting alternative means of transportation to and from campus in order to reduce needs for personal vehicles
  • Continued commitment to providing on-campus housing options for all students and encouragement for private investment in housing and services nearby, which in turn, reduces vehicle traffic to and from campus
  • Increased recycling efforts and correlated reduction in the amount of generated landfill waste.

Campus Utilities and Infrastructure

The university operates a central steam heating plant with mostly localized cooling systems. Campus utilities form an underground matrix that, in some instances, dictate where buildings can be developed and where surface access to existing utilities must be maintained. Access to campus infrastructure and the cost of relocating significant utilities or extending utilities to the outer limits of campus are essential factors to consider when evaluating building sites.

Architectural Considerations

The campus contains a diverse mix of architectural styles, reflective of their individual eras of design and construction. The thoughtful integration of new buildings within the existing campus fabric will require careful consideration for the scale, proportion, form, material and proximity of existing buildings.

Architectural guidelines are contained in Appendix B of the plan. Following the guidelines, new construction will be designed to fit cohesively within existing neighborhoods, reflecting the current state-of-the-art technology in building construction. Thus new buildings become an evolving record of architectural trends and campus life; and add diversity and variety to an integrated campus environment.

Millennium Master Plan Technical Report

Continuing to expand the quality and diversity of facilities and services available to students and to the community, as well as enhancing the functional and aesthetic qualities of the campus environment will have a significant impact on SDSU’s ability to attract students and meet challenges into the 21st century. This Plan will provide a flexible philosophical and physical framework focused on defining opportunities for accommodating growth in an orderly and efficient manner. Its purpose will be to provide a guide for how future growth will be visualized and tested, and, if appropriate, eventually implemented. The underpinnings of this Plan’s vision include:

  • Celebrate the SDSU commitment to its Land Grant mission and heritage.
  • Promote the SDSU commitment to the city of Brookings by continuing to work to preserve critical natural and manmade resources, and establish welcoming and mutually beneficial physical relationships.
  • Set a standard for the quality of spaces within the campus to enrich the student’s academic and campus-life experience and engender respect for the physical environment.
  • Embrace the unique identity of SDSU by preserving and/or restoring the best architectural, landscape, and planning elements of the historic campus and translating these qualities to new areas of campus development.
  • Create a user-friendly campus that is welcoming, easily navigable, and safe for visitors, students, faculty, and staff.
  • Establish an environment that nurtures interaction and communication by providing spaces and amenities such as benches, walkways, and common areas that invite the exchange of ideas.