UMBC Opens First Phase of $165M Performing Arts and Humanities Building
- Sep 22, 2012
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) held a day-long celebration on Wednesday, September 19, to mark the grand opening of the first phase of its new $165 million Performing Arts and Humanities Building as well as the ground breaking for the second phase. Governor Martin O’Malley was present at the ceremony. The day’s events included an arts and humanities festival, musical performances and an inaugural lecture at the building’s new theater.
Construction on the 170,000 square-foot building started in the summer of 2010. It’s located on 4.8 acres on the west side of Hilltop Road and will be a natural extension of the campus to the north. The Performing Arts and Humanities Building was designed to provide a new, state-of-the-art facility for the arts and humanities departments and programs, enhance teaching, research and public outreach, and heighten the visibility of the arts and humanities as major components of campus and community life.
The first phase of the project houses UMBC’s theater and English departments, its artist and humanities scholars programs, the James T. and Virginia M. Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the arts management offices. It includes a 275-seat theater as well as a 120-seat theater.
Phase two of the project is expected to open in fall 2014. It will provide space for the Departments of Ancient Studies, Dance, Music and Philosophy, and include a 350-seat concert hall and 120-seat dance studio.
The Performing Arts and Humanities Building will incorporate such environmental efficiency measures as rainwater harvesting, reduced light pollution, 40 percent reduced water consumption and daylight and views in 75 percent of the space. It is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, and will be the first LEED certified building at UMBC. The project is being paid for through the state’s capital budget. Boston’s William Rawn Associates Inc. and Grimm + Parker Architects of Calverton are the architects.