Bethany Lutheran College
Mankato, MN | Education
Originally intended as a high school and junior college, Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) has faced abundant growth since its inception, granting students its first baccalaureate degrees in the spring of 2001. To prepare the College for anticipated growth, ISG completed a master plan in 2005 that would accommodate academic, religious, athletic, and housing needs for the next 25 years.
Sweeping renovations, new construction, and landscape developments were considered to contribute to the visual wholeness of the campus, while creating a barrier-free environment and having complete ADA accessibility. The Master Plan addressed aesthetic and physical improvements to all of the campus entries by reorganizing wayfinding to campus destinations and simplifying both vehicular and pedestrian circulation systems. Several new facilities were also added to the campus. Building and architectural design concept studies were generated for significant stakeholders, including students, staff, and administrators, which added a visual element to the project. The Master Plan creates a sense of place that solidifies and refines the campus identity and embodies the mission of BLC: to provide an environment that mentors and challenges students to pursue knowledge, truth, and discernment.
In the following years, ISG has continued to help BLC realize the recommendations within the Master Plan. Located on one of the building sites identified through the Master Planning process is the recently completed 66,000 square-foot Rudolph E. Honsey Hall, which houses the communication, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences departments. ISG, with consultant Perkins+Will, completed the design of this facility that includes two upper level student meeting rooms and observation towers overlooking both the recreational fields and the campus core. A Master Plan for BLC’s athletic facilities was also conducted for a more specific and detailed strategy of development.
ISG’s master plan provided Bethany Lutheran College with a clearer image of their future goals and vision and guided the crucial next steps in meeting challenges of expanding enrollment and student retention.