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MICUA Capital Projects: Academic Initiatives to Progress the State

MICUA Matters Newsletter

Winter 2019

 

During the 2019 Legislative Session, MICUA is requesting $13.6 million in State matching capital grants to support campus construction and renovation projects totaling $119.9 million at Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Mount St. Mary’s University, and Stevenson University. These four capital projects directly support the mission of each institution, innovative academic programs, and strategic campus initiatives. The facilities will be designed and constructed to maximize opportunities for student and faculty collaboration and to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research. The State’s $13.6 million investment in fiscal 2020 will leverage over $106 million in private resources and support approximately 850 new construction jobs.

During the 2019 Legislative Session, MICUA is requesting $13.6 million in State matching capital grants to support campus construction and renovation projects totaling $119.9 million at Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Mount St. Mary’s University, and Stevenson University. These four capital projects directly support the mission of each institution, innovative academic programs, and strategic campus initiatives. The facilities will be designed and constructed to maximize opportunities for student and faculty collaboration and to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research. The State’s $13.6 million investment in fiscal 2020 will leverage over $106 million in private resources and support approximately 850 new construction jobs.

Hood College is requesting a $3.4 million State matching grant to renovate and transform the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center into a modern learning commons. The learning commons concept combines the functions of a library, laboratory, classroom, study room, and lounge into a single community learning and gathering space. The renovated facility will facilitate multiple types of study, provide access to information in all forms, and offer a user-friendly environment for students with appropriate services to support their work. Hood’s Josephine Steiner Center for Academic Achievement and Retention, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Office of Information Technology will be relocated to the learning commons from other buildings on campus. Having these services in a convenient central location on campus will help increase their visibility and accessibility.

Hood’s Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center opened in 1992, at a time when academic libraries were primarily constructed to house print collections and archive recorded information. These priorities are reflected in the original design of the facility and its current layout, with a full third of the assignable square footage in the building devoted to library stacks. However, advances in digital technology have made library research and print source materials, including books and journals, much more accessible over the past three decades and have transformed how college students access information, conduct research, study, and learn. These developments have substantially changed library service delivery models at colleges and universities around the world. Having adequate spaces on campus for students to meet, study, read, research, and access digital materials and resources now outweighs the need for ongoing access to physical print materials in a central brick and mortar location.

At over 65,000 square feet, the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center, like most academic libraries, is a centerpiece of Hood’s campus. Transforming this facility into a learning commons will allow the College to better meet student needs and expectations by creating an environment that supports research and exploration, encourages teamwork and collaboration, provides technology support, and centralizes student support services. The estimated total cost of this project is $7 million.

Johns Hopkins University is requesting a $3.4 million State matching grant to design and construct a new 57,000 square foot academic building to house the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute. The Institute, a joint conception between Johns Hopkins and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, engages University faculty, visiting faculty, and undergraduate and graduate student teams in conducting cutting-edge research and scholarship to identify, design, and test new mechanisms for strengthening civic engagement and inclusive dialogue worldwide. The Institute draws its namesake from the ancient Athenian agora, a central space in the city that was a place of open conversation and debate for all citizens. The SNF Agora Institute will serve as a vital interdisciplinary research hub within the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, which encompasses JHU's social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities departments.

Renzo Piano, winner of many of architecture’s most prestigious prizes and creator of masterpiece buildings on five continents, is the architect behind the design of the SNF Agora Institute building. He has shared that the principles of “openness, accessibility, and harmony with nature” will guide the design of the SNF Agora Institute. The building will be located on the Homewood Campus at the intersection of Wyman Park Drive and San Martin Drive and will feature three distinct yet interdependent program typologies —academic spaces, laboratory spaces, and conversation/community spaces. Each component will be planned and designed to contribute to an overall facility and program that is flexible, forward thinking, and uniquely crafted to express a message of universal inclusion and respect for the basic ideals of open discourse in human governance.

From history to neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University is home to top tier programs that will be involved in research and scholarship supporting the SNF Agora Institute’s mission. The Institute will foster inquiry into the new and evolving science of human decision making and serve as home to multiple disciplines that will study longstanding, entrenched questions with the goal of effecting changes in civic awareness, policy, and social engagement. The estimated total cost of this capital project is $97 million.

Mount St. Mary’s University is requesting a $3.4 million State matching grant to design, renovate, and construct an addition to the Knott Academic Center, one of the primary instructional buildings on the University’s Emmitsburg campus. Built in 1975, the building serves the College of Liberal Arts and the Richard J. Bolte, Sr., School of Business.

The University community has agreed that improved teaching and learning space is a top priority moving forward. The Campus Master Plan calls for the University to systematically address the condition of its aging academic buildings and to upgrade and modernize outdated instructional space. The renovation and expansion of Knott will add over 12,000 square feet to the existing building and provide new classrooms, labs, faculty offices, and meeting rooms.

Undergraduate and graduate enrollments at Mount St. Mary’s have increased from 1,900 students in 2005 to more than 2,400 students in 2018. Additional enrollment growth of 5% at the undergraduate level and 10% at the graduate level is projected between 2018 and 2022, bringing the total student body to over 2,500 students. Student enrollment growth and academic program expansion at the University have caused classroom shortages throughout campus during peak scheduling times. In addition, growth in full-time undergraduate faculty has created significant needs for additional office space. The renovation and expansion of the Knott Academic Center is crucial to the University’s ability to effectively accommodate these student and faculty increases as well as future growth.

Over the past two years, Mount St. Mary’s has launched a number of undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree offerings in fields including data science, risk management, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, quality assurance and regulatory science, applied history, Italian, and the interdisciplinary major of philosophy, politics and economics. The renovation of Knott will support these and other planned academic programs, assuring the University remains competitive with its peer institutions and responsive to the needs of its students, faculty, and surrounding community, as well as businesses and federal agencies in the region. The estimated total cost of this project is $7.5 million.

Stevenson University is requesting a $3.4 million State matching grant to design and construct a new academic building on its Owings Mills campus. This new building is an integral part of Stevenson’s long-term plan for the development of the Owings Mills campus. As Stevenson continues to relocate academic programs and operations from its Greenspring campus to Owings Mills, there are substantial needs for additional academic space. This new 50,000-square-foot building will house the University’s library and black box theater, as well as faculty offices and meeting rooms. The black box theater—a versatile and flexible performance space where staging and seating can be configured multiple ways—will directly support Stevenson’s Theatre and Media Performance program, theater productions, and other cultural programming.

The University’s current library and theaters are still located at the Greenspring campus, which poses significant challenges since the majority of academic programs are now housed on the Owings Mills campus, located seven miles away. Consolidating to one geographic location will reduce the University’s cost of operations through elimination of redundant infrastructure, services, and expenses. It will also enhance the experience of Stevenson’s students, who will have classes, activities, and access to faculty and library services on a single campus.

Enrolling more than 3,900 undergraduate and graduate students, Stevenson University plays a unique role in Maryland higher education, with its focus on career preparation. Its academic spaces and services are central to helping it fulfill this mission. This new building will enable the University to continue the expansion of its academic program offerings and its Owings Mills campus, adding an estimated 31,350 net assignable square footage of additional academic space: 13,350 for the library, 10,500 for the black box theater, and 7,500 for offices and meetings rooms. The estimated total cost for this project is $8.4 million.