Principal Building and Open Space Projects

The University has developed specific projects to satisfy the space needs generated by one possible scenario of enrollment growth over the next ten years.  If this growth scenario is realized, a series of major capital projects are required to address both current space deficits and future space needs in support of UMBC’s teaching, research and service mission.  


The adjoining plan illustrates the projects in the context of the existing campus.  The projects range in scale from roadway improvements to the 167,000 square foot Performing Arts and Humanities Building.  Each project reinforces the salient elements of the Campus Framework, as well as the Campus Land Use and Open Space Plans. 



Click here to enlarge the Illustrative Campus Plan.

Several residential projects have been completed over the last few years. These include the construction of the addition to Patapsco Hall, as well as the renovation of the existing residential communities of Hillside and Terrace Apartments. These projects have added or renovated nearly 900 beds. In addition, a Residential Community Center has been constructed and sits between the Terrace and West Hill Communities.

Additional residenital community upgrades underway include the construction of elevators and other interior improvements at Chesapeake and Susquehanna Halls, the renovation of Patapsco Hall and the renovation of West Hill.

Several academic projects are currently also underway, like the Performing Arts and Humanities Building (phase I opened in 2012 and phase II is scheduled to open in July of 2014).  Two other large projects listed above are expected to break ground in 2014-2015 - The Campus Gateway and the UMBC Event Center.. 


Performing Arts and Humanities Building

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The University began Phase I construction in July 2010 and opened this wing in July of 2012.  The 90,184 GSF / 45,435 NASF building contains a 275-seat theatre, a 100-seat black box theatre, studios and classrooms, and writing labs for the departments of Theatre and English.  Space has been provided for the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Linehan Artist Scholarship program and the Arts Management office.  The campus’ central plant was expanded and distribution lines extended to support the utility requirements of this new facility. 

UMBC is completing the construction of Phase II, a 76,605 GSF / 43,448 NASF building for the departments of Music, Dance, Ancient Studies, and Philosophy.  The facility will provide a 350-seat concert hall, a 100-seat dance studio, recording studios, instrument ensemble room, classrooms, as well as an archaeology laboratory. 

When completed in 2014, the Performing Arts and Humanities Building will provide an appropriate environment for students to not only be formally and informally involved in the development and production of performances, but otherwise gain exposure to the arts through cross-disciplinary activities.  This project is central to supporting the University’s mission to offer academically talented students a strong undergraduate liberal arts foundation.

For updates on the construction of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building refer to the website



Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building and The Commons Plaza

The new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building will provide 123,000 GSF of flexible and adaptable research and education spaces to support on-going and future interdisciplinary life science programs requiring labs, offices, and support space.  In order to address the deteriorating condition of the campus’ current animal housing facilities and a campus-wide deficit for research space, this project will construct a new vivarium as a central resource for all of the campus’ research and academic programs involving animal use protocols. The building is expected to be completed in 2020. 

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This academic building will replace the one-story Theater and Academic Services Building and will bridge between the two academic zones to the east and west of The Commons.  The project will enhance a key campus plaza, balancing pedestrian use and circulation with the service needs of The Commons. The impact of service vehicles will be mitigated with appropriate paving, plantings and other design features, creating a new student-oriented plaza consistent with the campus Open Space Plan.



Global Studies and Culture Building Renovation

Upon completion of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, the 41-year old Fine Arts building
will be sufficiently vacated (as academic programs relocate to the new building) to permit its phased renovation. This adaptive reuse, facilities renewal project will include replacement and upgrade of mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems; restoration of the building envelope; correction of barriers to accessibility; and architectural modifications for a number of academic programs. In order
to correct life safety deficiencies and building circulation problems, a 33,000 GSF addition is proposed between the two building wings, creating a new entrance to the building oriented to the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building and the campus beyond.

Concurrent to this project will be a much needed renovation of the Pond.  The Pond is one of the most important pieces of the campus storm water management system.  It is also a central feature of the campus. This renovation project is envisioned to include the design of the green space around the Pond in order to make this a more accessible and attractive feature of the campus.  Click for larger image.


Multi-disciplinary Academic Building

To address additional campus-wide space deficits for classrooms, and teaching and research laboratories, a new 148,000 GSF Multi-disciplinary Academic Building is proposed adjacent to the Physics Building.  The four story structure will reinforce the quadrangle created by the Public Policy Building and the Physics Building and will share a service area with the latter.  The space model projects needs for additional laboratory and general classroom space to accommodate increased enrollment delineated in the planning scenario  .Click for larger image.



University Learning Center

This project will renovate the 68,900 GSF University Center, originally built as a student union and in the heart of the academic core of the campus, into the University Learning Center.  The current deficit of space, especially for teaching, limits the university’s ability to adequately serve different pedagogies and instructional styles.  National trends have moved towards student-centered, integrated, flexible, active learning modalities which require higher instructor to student ratios in technology-equipped environments.  Furthermore, national data ties student success to programs which provide on-demand tutoring and informal group learning centers.


With the completion of this capital facilities renewal project, the newly renovated University Learning Center will provide a central location for: new general purpose classrooms to serve the entire campus community; active learning teaching studios for courses such as introductory chemistry, math, physics, and biology; one-on-one and group tutoring rooms; an intensive English language program center; disability support services; and other related student services.  In this way, the proposed project will address the lack of appropriate and functional interactive teaching and learning support spaces to ensure student success at UMBC.  Click here for larger image.

Building Renewals

Four existing campus buildings house a majority of the general purpose classrooms and teaching labs on campus and are scheduled for major renovations.  These include Sondheim Hall (built in 1973), the Math/Psychology Building (built in 1969), a wing of the Biological Sciences Building (built in 1983), and the Academic IV Building, (dates from 1980).  These buildings are nearing the end of their useful life.  Without significant renewal, continued operation will not be functional or economically feasible.   Click for larger image.


UMBC proposes a systematic approach to renewal of these buildings through the replacement and upgrade of mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems; restoration of building envelope; and modest architectural modifications to correct barriers to accessibility, improve building functionality, and enhance public spaces. The sequencing of these major facilities renewal projects has been adjusted to follow the completion of the New Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building project. Due to limited availability of surge space and the critical nature of maintaining a functioning animal housing facility, the campus must implement a phased renovation tied to the construction of a new vivarium and additional interdisciplinary life science research space.

The Math/Psychology Building renovation is critically needed to address deteriorating building conditions, such as a failing roof, brick cladding failure, and deficient teaching facilities due to dated technology. The Sondheim Hall renovation project will upgrade the envelope and replace mechanical, electrical, and life safety system components in support of academic programs. The Academic IV renovation project will refurbish one of the campus’ primary teaching buildings through upgrade of the building’s infrastructure, renewal of public spaces, and modernization of general purpose classrooms and teaching labs.



UMBC Events Center

The proposed UMBC Events Center will be a 180,000 GSF building, housing a series of flexible meeting rooms and a large multi-purpose gathering space that can serve for student events, regional performances, convocation, and as a new athletic arena for the University.  The main space will have flexible seating configurations for up to 6,000 with adequate support facilities such as concessions, a box office and athletic program offices and training rooms.   Click here to enlarge image.

This building will serve the UMBC campus in many ways.  It will give our campus the ability to host large events, including convocation and

commencement ceremonies that currently cannot be hosted on campus
for lack of facilities.  Site improvements include pedestrian improvements
to traverse Hilltop Circle, providing greater access to the UMBC Stadium Complex beyond.


Student Services/Student Life Building

The construction of The Commons in 2003 created a central focus for student activity on campus, grouping student services, meeting spaces, lounges and dining facilities.  Its success has put strains on the facility and as the campus grows new student life spaces are needed.  Complimenting The Commons, the 100,000 GSF Student Services/Student Life Building will consolidate currently scattered student services and finally find an appropriate home for facilities that have been housed in temporary sheds.

The Student Services/Student Life Building is sited to reinforce the “student centered” core of the campus and to frame the main campus open space or green.  This space will be the iconic open space for the campus, reinforcing the Campus Framework Plan.  In addition, the building will be designed to retain a critical play field adjacent to Erickson Hall and reinforcing the campus pedestrian Spine.  Click here to enlarge image.


UMBC Stadium Renovation

The UMBC Stadium Complex renovation project will improve the existing bleachers, press boxes, restrooms and concession areas of the existing stadium, built in 1976.  These modifications will bring stadium facilities up to the level of UMBC’s divisional peers, while providing for handicapped accessible services that are not currently available.



New Walker Avenue Residential Community

This project develops a new residential community along Walker Avenue that would add an additional 342 beds to the campus residential inventory.  The community is sited to reinforce the approach from Wilkens Avenue, enhancing the street environment of Walker Avenue, one of the important portals to both the campus core and to other residential life facilities.  The community will replace the greenhouses that occupy this important corner of the campus and will take advantage of the sloping site with a landscaped, terraced courtyard, screening the Central Plant facility and framing the Walker Avenue/Hilltop Circle intersection.

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Chesapeake Hall Addition

A new addition to Chesapeake Hall will provide 120 additional beds to the residential building and will vastly improve access and handicapped accessibility.  The project will create a new lobby at the sidewalk level and provide elevator access to all rooms of the hall, that currently are not accessible above the first floor.

The addition will frame and develop two new residential courts, one green and informal to the south and one more interactive to the north, with benches, grills, and tables and paving.
Click here to enlarge image.