It has been pretty hot in Baltimore this summer. But surely no one has felt the heat more than all the construction workers on campus.
There are a number of major projects underway. Thanks to the generous philanthropy of some of our most successful alumni, there will be four new buildings completed at Homewood in the next 2-3 years.
Perhaps the most eagerly awaited is the Brody Learning Commons, an adjunct to the MSE that will further the Milton S. Eisenhower Library’s role as the intellectual, social, and physical heart of the Homewood campus. The BLC will be a light-filled, four-story hub for collaborative learning, with a robust technology infrastructure, spaces for group and individual study, and will provide more than 500 new seats and add 15 group study rooms—space that will be greeted warmly by the undergraduate population. Construction has already begun on the building, with a scheduled completion date of July 2012.
Here’s what the architect has to say: “The technology-rich Learning Commons includes group study spaces, seminar rooms, and a state-of-the-art lab designed to integrate the role of scientists into the field of paper and manuscript conservation. The Rare Books and Manuscripts collection is on prominent physical display, supplemented by digital presentation of materials that allows users to compare and contrast different editions of rare documents in virtual and physical form. An atrium, which provides a transition between Brody and the Library allows natural light to reach the lower levels of the Library while providing a civic space for the Learning Commons and the library community. The highly sustainable project is being designed to LEED Silver standards.”
Late last year, John C. Malone, Engr ’64 (MS), ’67 (PhD), donated $30 million to the Whiting School of Engineering for a 56,000-square-foot, four-story building on the Decker Quadrangle. But this isn’t just another brick building; Malone Hall will be specially designed for interdisciplinary work, housing the new Systems Institute as well as Johns Hopkins’ emerging initiative in individualized health.
According to the University, “the initiative in individualized health is expected to bring together engineers, life scientists and medical researchers from across Johns Hopkins. They will focus on bringing information science into the practice of medicine, with an initial emphasis on cancer, in a manner that will allow an unprecedented focus on treatment designed for the individual patient. The approach grows out of the recognition that genetic and epigenetic differences among patients explain, at least in part, why traditionally developed drugs help some people and not others. Instead of a piecemeal, component-by-component approach, the Systems Institute will take a multidisciplinary look at re-engineering entire systems of national importance, including medicine, health care delivery, network-enabled systems, information security, national infrastructure and education. In addition to faculty in the Whiting School, the institute will tap into the expertise of researchers from the university’s three health professions schools, Medicine, Public Health and Nursing; from the schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education; and from the Applied Physics Laboratory, already one of the nation’s leading centers of systems engineering.”
Construction is set to begin next year on the Decker Quad next to Mason Hall, in the footprint outlined by students and faculty in the picture to the right.
The Cordish Lacrosse Center, the first facility of its kind, will house locker rooms and coaches’ offices for the men’s and women’s teams, a 50-person theater, a conference room, an academic center and a training room. A reception area on the second floor will lead to a patio overlooking the field that can be used for receptions and for game day spectators. On the field level, exhibits will chronicle the history of both programs. As the JHU Newsletter puts it, “For more than 100 years, Homewood Field has been the Yankee Stadium of college lacrosse: a comfortable nest for homestanding Blue Jays, a house of horrors for visiting teams. But eventually, even Yankee Stadium needs an upgrade…Completion of the Cordish Center will also benefit other Johns Hopkins athletes. The NCAA Division I lacrosse squads currently share space in the Newton H. White Athletic Center with the university’s 22 other sports programs. When the lacrosse teams move out, space they now occupy will open up to some of Johns Hopkins’ other teams, which compete with great success in NCAA Division III.”
But the upgrades to Homewood Field don’t stop there. The Athletic Department recently announced plans to build a state-of-the-art video display that will measure approximately 14 feet high by 48 feet wide.
The layout of the new scoreboard. It's going to be a lot bigger than this, I promise!
“Featuring 15HD pixel layout, the display will incorporate excellent clarity and contrast of images, multiple levels of protection from the elements and a more robust cabinet design with an improved ventilation system. The display, which will be used for Johns Hopkins football, field hockey, lacrosse and soccer, is capable of showing one large image or being divided into separate windows to show live and recorded video as well as an array of vivid graphics, up-to-the-minute statistics, colorful animations and advertisements with incredible brightness and wide-angle visibility.
Six Blue Jay teams – men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey – call Homewood Field home. Johns Hopkins is nationally known for its prominent men’s lacrosse team, which has won 44 national championships, including nine NCAA titles. In addition, the football, women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey teams have combined for 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament since 2005 with football, women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer and women’s soccer all advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals at least once since 2006.
Homewood Field is generally regarded as the most storied facility in college lacrosse. With the installation of the video board this summer and the completion of the Cordish Lacrosse Center next spring, Johns Hopkins has ensured that Homewood Field will continue as the premier venue in the lacrosse world while also providing unmatched facilities for the Blue Jay football, soccer and field hockey programs.”
But despite my excitement as a player on the Men’s Soccer team over having a brand new scoreboard, my excitement as a Molecular & Cellular Biology/Neuroscience double major was piqued even more by the announcement of a massive, state-of-the-art Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory that will be built as an addition to Mudd Hall, the University’s main Biology complex.
“The new Undergraduate Teaching Lab and Biology Research Wing was conceived to complete the existing Mudd Levi complex by closing off the open fourth side of the courtyard and creating a new face to gently embrace Bufano Gardens to the north. The northern façade will be entirely glazed to enhance views of the wooded hillside from the labs and allow maximum northern daylight to enter the labs. At the center of the complex a new student commons with coffee bar will be created on the rooftop of the existing lecture hall to serve as a focal point for interaction and group identity for the natural sciences community. Undergraduate teaching laboratories for Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscience and BioPhysics will take place on the lower three floors of the building with direct student access both from the new Mudd Commons and also from White Walk to the east. The upper floor will be fit out to accommodate Biology department research and have open lab, lab support and procedure space, meeting and seminar rooms and faculty offices for 7 Principal Investigator led research groups.
The 105,000 square foot new building will be a pragmatic and robust tool in the service of research and teaching in the natural sciences, with simple but durable finishes, abundant natural light, and modern equipment and systems. Particular attention has been paid to ensure that the building will be a model for low energy usage with a benchmark target set of using half of the energy of the average of the existing science buildings on campus. These guiding principals will create a building suitable for modern life sciences based research and able to accommodate evolutions in pedagogy and research over time.”
Construction is already underway and the UTL will be completed in the summer of 2013.
So, to sum up my position: NEW BUILDINGS @ HOMEWOOD = GOOD.