Syracuse Mayoral Race 2017

Mayoral candidates know little about Syracuse University’s 20-year Campus Framework project

Wasim Ahmad | Staff Photographer

Mayoral candidates, despite possibly having a future relationship with Syracuse University, had little knowledge of the university's 20-year infrastructure plan.

In just a few months, the city of Syracuse will have a new mayor. That mayor will have to work to form a relationship with Syracuse University as the school pursues its Campus Framework initiative.

The Campus Framework, the university’s major 20-year infrastructure plan, could drastically change SU’s campus and have an impact on nearby neighborhoods.

Three mayoral candidates who spoke with The Daily Orange said they understand that infrastructure renovations and changes are coming to the university area. The candidates, though, did not understand the specifics of the Campus Framework project.

Last May, Chancellor Kent Syverud released a second draft of the Campus Framework project as part of his flagship Fast Forward Syracuse initiative.

The university wants to phase out some South Campus housing and build new student housing off Ostrom Avenue near Main Campus, among other things, through the Campus Framework plan.

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party mayoral candidate, said the Campus Framework project could be positive for the area.

Hawkins also would like to see SU engage in cooperatives benefiting both the college and lower-income residents in nearby areas, such as worker co-ops involving solar power, he said.

“Syracuse University’s footprint in the city is huge, and it’s the biggest economic engine,” Hawkins said.

Marty Masterpole, one of the three remaining Democratic mayoral candidates, said he was not familiar with the Campus Framework, but knew a general campus infrastructure project was in the works.

Laura Lavine, the sole Republican candidate, said she believes the Campus Framework project will be a positive change for SU because it will benefit students of different abilities. Under the plan, the university completed an accessibility audit to determine how accessible spaces are.

Democratic candidate Juanita Perez Williams, Democratic candidate Joe Nicoletti and independent candidate Ben Walsh could not be reached for comment on this story.

The exact cost of the Campus Framework remains unknown, but renovations to the Carrier Dome and Archbold Gymnasium — two of the projects included in the Campus Framework’s second draft — are estimated to cost $250 million total.

A concrete timeline is still lacking for when some of the Campus Framework’s plans — such as South Campus housing relocation — will be completed.

In anticipation of the South Campus relocation project, the university plans to construct additional parking lots at the “periphery” of main campus to help address traffic congestion and reduce the number of cars traveling through main campus, according to the second Campus Framework draft.

Disclaimer: The Daily Orange leases a house on Ostrom Avenue owned by Syracuse University. As part of the Campus Framework, the university has proposed building student housing on Ostrom Avenue where The Daily Orange currently operates.


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