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Towson University marks start of $180M project for new Science Complex on York Road

Rendering of the new Towson University Science Complex, being constructed on York Road. A formal groundbreaking event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17.
Rendering of the new Towson University Science Complex, being constructed on York Road. A formal groundbreaking event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17. (Handout)

Towson University will host a ceremony Tuesday to break ground on the college's new $180 million Science Complex, which officials say will become the largest academic building on campus when it's completed in 2020.

The new 320,000-square-foot center, being built along York Road south of the campus' Stephens Hall, will house 50 teaching laboratories, 30 research laboratories, 50 classrooms, 10 collaborative student spaces and eight lecture halls. Work at the site actually began in the fall.

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The center will also include an outdoor classroom leading into the university's Glen Arboretum, as well as a rain garden for stormwater control, a planetarium, observatory, rooftop greenhouse, museum and vivarium.

Towson University is expanding a grant to Baltimore County Police to step up weekend neighborhood patrols and keep an eye on rowdy students during the spring semester.

The complex will replace Smith Hall — built in the 1960s — as the primary science building at the university.

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It will be part of TU's Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, which currently has more than 4,000 students. In a release, university officials noted that when Smith Hall first opened, the entire university had less than 4,000 students.

Officials say Smith Hall has insufficient classroom and lab space for current science student needs. The university is in the process of deciding the future use of Smith Hall, though it will be used as academic space in some form, a spokesman said via email.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, psychologist and author of the book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” will speak at Towson University’s College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony this year, the school announced Thursday. 

Tuesday's ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. on campus at the Glen Garage, Cross Campus Drive. Among those scheduled to attend are university President Kim Schatzel, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret, UMS Board of Regents Chairman James Brady and State Del. Stephen Lafferty.

For more information on the science center project is available HERE.

The science complex is among several projects slated for Towson University. In fall 2018, the campus will begin an 85,000-square-foot expansion of its University Union building to allow room for a 300-seat auditorium, expanded dining and new entrances connected to plaza areas. That project is expected to be completed by 2021, according to information on the Towson University website.

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