A site to behold
Photo by Desirée Stover
Phase I of the College of Liberal Arts Building is taking shape
by Stuart Zang
The skyline around University Avenue and Union Avenue has changed dramatically in the eight months since TU broke ground on the first of two phases for the future home for the College of Liberal Arts.
Phase I, which will cost roughly $53 million—$36 million for the first 100,000 square-foot structure and $17 million to expand TU’s central plant and utilities to serve the completed building—is scheduled to open in time for fall 2009 classes. As required by the state of Maryland, it will be capable of functioning as a freestanding facility, although construction for the adjacent Phase II segments is scheduled to begin in July 2009.
The grand opening for the completed CLA building is slated for summer 2011.
Work on the CLA Building’s underground utilities is nearly complete. Considerable work has been done on Phase I’s structure as well as its exterior masonry walls, providing a glimpse into how the final building will look.
Phase I will open with three 90-seat classrooms, three 45-seat classrooms, eight 36-seat classrooms and seven seminar rooms. Classrooms will be housed primarily along the building’s public face on the north side, looking out toward Towsontown Boulevard. They will have larger windows than the faculty offices, most of which will be on the building’s south side, facing Hawkins Hall and the Psychology Building, and eventually overlooking a courtyard. The south side windows will have sun screening built on the outside for solar shading.
Two main galleries will join the three segments comprising the completed CLA Building. “These spaces, which will form the major entrances on the north and south sides, will help give the CLA Building its signature exterior appearance, as well as provide plenty of interior open space and day lighting,” says David Mayhew, director of architecture, engineering and construction for Facilities Management. The galleries also were designed to keep the center walkway of the finished building from feeling like one seemingly endless corridor.”
Mayhew says TU and the builder are still working on details to temporarily enclose the gallery that will eventually join Phase II to Phase I. “We’re looking at putting up a transitory—and therefore inexpensive—wall that can sufficiently keep noise and activity away from Phase I,” he says. “Fortunately, the spaces closest to Phase II construction will not be immediately occupied.”
While Mayhew marvels at the progress made on Phase I, he says it only hints at the magnitude of the completed building.
“It’s remarkable to consider what we see standing on the construction site today, although large, is merely one-third of what will be standing there by fall 2011.”
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