TOWSON, Md. (Sept. 3, 2011)—This fall, Towson University opens the doors to more than 700,000 square feet of student housing, dining, gathering space and parking in the West Village Precinct. West Village Commons, a dining and student life facility, will anchor the student community, which also features two new residence halls and parking facilities.
Designed by GWWO Architects, the new $31.5 million, 86,000-square-foot West Village Commons building provides retail and dining areas, study space, meeting rooms, student gathering spaces and a large multi-purpose room. Every feature—from the open floor plan to the use of regional materials and finishes—was designed to make students feel at home.
Eatery options like Einstein Bros. Bagels, Coyote Jack's and Jamba Juice will be available, and a new all-you-care-to-eat dining facility will offer products like trans fat-free soy oil, antibiotic-reduced pork and chicken, cage-free eggs and fair trade coffee.
As part of Towson’s green initiative, the building was designed for, and is expected to achieve, LEED Silver certification.
The commons has water saving features like dual-flush toilets, ultra low-flow lavatories and a storm water management plan, and the building strongly utilizes the practice of "daylighting," or allowing natural light to effectively light interior spaces. Because the exterior is one-quarter glass, the building will see an almost 26 percent energy cost savings over a typical energy standard.
The building features a “green roof,” which serves as a practical cooling system and also as an outdoor event and gathering space. The project’s design also integrates an existing elm tree on the east side of the project site. It was important to both the university and the design team that the tree—one of the largest and oldest in the state—remain, and it grows next to the new building as a testament to the site’s sustainability.
The West Village Precinct also includes two new residence halls—Barton House and Douglass House— that comprise nearly 160,000 square feet and bring 651 new beds to campus. The facilities join two existing residence halls, Paca House and Tubman House, completed in 2008 as part of the first phase of West Village construction. A six-story garage provides 1,500 parking spaces to TU students, faculty, staff and visitors.
TU celebrated the grand opening of the completed West Village facilities with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The ceremony featured remarks from Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and concluded with guided tours of West Village Commons and Douglass House.
Photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony
|Students learn more about international education programs from the Study Abroad Office, one of many groups represented at the fair.|