Inside Salk; Salk Insitute
Home > News & Press > InsideSalk > 06|07 Issue > Master Plan Update Inches Closer to City Approval

Master Plan Update Inches Closer to City Approval

The Salk Institute moved a step closer in finalizing approval of its Master Plan Update when the city of San Diego released the plan's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for public review in the spring.

The Plan, which will guide the Institute's growth and development for the next 50 years, was carefully designed with environmental, historic and architectural preservation in mind. The recently completed EIR concludes that the project has minimal environmental impact.

As the first update to the original master plan developed by Dr. Jonas Salk and Louis Kahn in 1962, this plan stays true to the original vision for the campus while allowing the Institute to keep pace with the rapidly evolving world of scientific research.

The Master Plan Update will enable the Institute to better fulfill its mission of improving the human condition through basic biological research. It addresses several important needs such as additional laboratory space, facilities for equipment shared by scientists, a childcare facility for employees and the ability to return all staff members to the Salk campus.

"The Salk Institute needs the ability to grow and adapt to scientific changes to remain a world leader in scientific research," said Richard Murphy, resident and CEO of the Salk Institute. "The environmental analysis shows that this can be done in a way that is sensitive to our neighbors, beneficial to the surrounding environment and respectful of the historical significance of the site."

The Institute has sought input on the Master Plan from a number of stakeholders throughout the review process. Nearly 100 meetings have been held with neighbors and community groups, environmental interests, design professionals, business organizations and others. Several modifications have been made to the plan to respond to the input that was received.

"The changes that we've made as a result of community input have made for a better plan," said Jack MacAllister, one of the principal designers of the master plan. MacAllister was also a protégé of Louis Kahn and has worked extensively on the original Salk Institute development since the early 1960's.

The approval of the Master Plan Update will provide the Institute with the necessary entitlements needed to fund and construct facilities that are needed in the future. This comprehensive planning effort will avoid piecemeal planning and save the Institute time and money when new facilities need to be built.

"The investment in a thorough planning effort today will ensure a smoother road for development of needed facilities in the future," said Dr. Murphy.

The plan is currently being reviewed by the City of San Diego, and is expected to be heard by the San Diego City Council in the fall.