In today’s high-tech world, STEM careers are some of the most sought after for college graduates. But attracting students to your college campus for STEM requires facilities that match the state-of-the-art technology they hope to study.
That’s where Towson University’s (TU) new state-of-the-art, 5-story, 316,000 square foot complex comes in. It’s the largest academic building on the school’s campus. It is a significant expansion for Fisher College and a long-anticipated departure from the aging infrastructure of Smith Hall, which was built in the 1960s.
As the new home for science departments, this facility supports modern teaching and research. It also provides the necessary space to accommodate accelerated student enrollment at TU, which has grown by more than 132 percent since 1997.
ABC member firm, Commercial Interiors, Inc., of Hanover, Maryland had a huge hand in making that vision become a reality. They were tapped to provide the interior finishing. The scope of work for Commercial Interiors included drywall, acoustical insulation, plaster, acoustical wall panels, acoustical ceilings, light gauge framing, carpentry, doors/frames/hardware, observatory dome, Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS), and fluid-applied air barrier. This dynamic facility was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.
Supporting STEM programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the new facility includes 50 teaching labs, 30 research labs, 50 classrooms, 10 student collaboration areas, and eight lecture halls. A key feature of the complex is an outdoor classroom connecting the west side to the adjacent Glen Arboretum, to provide opportunities for experiential learning in biology and environmental science. The complex also includes a rain garden for stormwater control, a planetarium, an observatory, a vivarium, and a rooftop greenhouse to support teaching and research.
For their work on TU’s New Science Complex, Commercial Interiors, Inc., received an ABC Excellence in Construction Award in the Specialty Trades-Interior Finish category.