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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Construction plans at UMBC set to improve the lives of students

Projects for parking, academic buildings and a new event center will be plus marks for UMBC

There was not a single residential hall on campus when UMBC opened its doors as a small commuter school more than 50 years ago. Much progress has since been made. UMBC has become an ever-expanding campus.

           To account for expected growth in coming years to come, renovation and construction plans are set to manage potential problems. These projects include something beneficial for every student.

           On October 28, UMBC Facilities and Management sent out an email with the subject header, “Open Forum Update on Upcoming Construction Projects.”  It seems that many students were excited about the changes coming to UMBC.

           Whether you are a commuter or a resident, there are plans to make the lives of students, in general, a bit easier.

           Since UMBC is still mainly a commuter school, some of the projects underway are the “Parking Expansion” and “The New Campus Gateway Expansion.”

           The lack of parking is a topic that has been beaten to death, but it seems that UMBC has heard our pleas of despair.

           The planned parking expansion will create 400 new spots located between the Walker Avenue Apartments and the recreation field on Hilltop Circle. Moreover, the Campus Gateway project will ease the entrance of commuters coming on campus by replacing the stop signs near Research Park with traffic circles.

           These are two very important plans that will tackle the unintentional consequences of the rise in enrollment. If UMBC plans to continue to rise in rank as an exceptional school, then it will have to make room for the growing student body.

           The projects for construction and renovation of the academic buildings will also prove to be essential to the success of students. Phase 2 of the Public Arts and Humanities building will host the Music, Dance, Philosophy, and Ancient Studies departments, thus opening up space in the Fine Arts building for 11 incoming departments.

           Fine Arts, Math and Psychology, University Center, and Sherman Hall will all undergo renovations. Classrooms will be refurbished with easily-movable tables and chairs, along with other improvements. These renovations will encourage a more active learning environment.

           However, plans for the academic buildings do not stop there. By 2019, there is slated to be a new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building where the current Theatre/Academic Services Building is located, and a Multidisciplinary Academic Building behind the Physics Building.

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