Campus construction makes progress despite pandemic

By: Caitlyn Freeman, Assistant Editor
Photo by Meghan Hudson/ The Towerlight

As construction of multiple buildings continues at Towson University, some projects are nearing completion, while others remain on track to be completed within the next couple of years.

The University is currently building the New Science Complex, expanding the Union, and renovating the Armory.

According to TU’s campus construction page, the University Union, which has been under construction since 2018, is receiving an 85,000 square foot addition to the existing building that will include a new food market, more space for student activities, and a 300-seat auditorium/movie theater. 

“There are two main components to the project,” the site says. “The first is expanding the building with a new, three-level addition to house an open food market and new main entrance along Towson Way. The second is renovating the existing building.”

According to Associate Vice President of Facilities Management, Kevin Petersen, the construction of the University Union has remained on schedule throughout the pandemic and phase one is slated to be completed by Fall 2021 and phase two by Fall of 2022. 

“The work will begin in a fenced-off area near the pedestrian walkway between the University Union and Burdick Field, and will then move onto the pedestrian walkway,” states TU’s construction notice. “The improvements will be complete by early November.”

As far as access to the Union itself goes, the lower level entrances are now closed, while the second floor Ustore and accessible entrances remain open.

Petersen also explained that the new Science Complex, which had an original completion date of Fall 2020, is slated to be completed for the Spring 2021 semester. 

“No classes are being held there currently, but we hope to start classes in the spring term,” Petersen said. 

According to TU, the building will include 50 teaching labs, 30 research labs, 50 classrooms, 10 collaborative student spaces, eight lecture halls, and one outdoor classroom that leads into the Glen Arboretum. 

“The complex will also include a rain garden for stormwater control, planetarium, observatory, rooftop greenhouse, museum and vivarium,” the site explained. 

According to the University, two additional walkways have been made available near the previously blocked off Science Complex. 

“Beginning August 10, two new walkways will be available for pedestrians traveling from the 7800 building and Glen Garage to TU’s academic core,” reads the press release. “The walkways run north to south on the east and west sides of the Science Complex.”

Similarly to the Science Complex, Petersen explained that the StarTUp at The Armory is slated to be completed during the spring semester. 

“The former Maryland National Guard Armory building will serve as the home for a number of programs and offices focused on community engagement and outreach, entrepreneurship, continuing education and workforce development,” the site says. 

The University is hosting 24-hour live streams of both the University Union and Science Complex construction sites for those interested in monitoring the construction progress. 

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