Campus Renovation

Loyola University Maryland Opens New Academic Building

Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Md., recently celebrated the opening of its newest academic building, the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning. A news release called the project the university’s largest academic renovation in the last decade. The 35,000 square feet of new construction combine with renovations to the adjacent Beatty Hall, as well as outdoor plaza space, to create a state-of-the-art entrance to both the university’s Quad and the university as a whole.

"The opening of the Fernandez Center for Innovation and Collaboration marks a new chapter in Loyola University Maryland’s nearly 170-year history as we transform our Academic Quadrangle into a contemporary hub for the Evergreen campus," said Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., interim president of Loyola. "The launch of the new Fernandez Center strengthens Loyola’s active engagement in a movement to focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking."

Officials began brainstorming the project four years ago, and ground for the new facility was broken in February 2020. The building’s architecture was carefully crafted to match and complement that of Beatty Hall, one of the university’s historic buildings.

Features and amenities of the new Fernandez Center include active learning classrooms, the Forbes Idea Lab, a career center, an academic loft for collaborative work, a graduate commons area, faculty offices and workspace, a café, and outdoor spaces. Environmental initiatives include efficient, LED lighting; a new air purification system including UV lights for airflow disinfection; stormwater management; and water conservation. The university said it anticipates the building to receive LEED gold certification.

"The enduring Jesuit tradition of adaptability positions Loyola University Maryland to provide a ‘future-proof’ education that strengthens the bonds of the liberal arts with innovation and entrepreneurship," said Terrence Sawyer, senior vice president at Loyola. "Thanks to the generous support of donors and the State of Maryland that made the new Fernandez Center for Innovation and Collaboration possible, students graduating from Loyola will be more marketable to prospective employers and will go on to apply the world-class education they receive to create a better world."

The project’s design team includes Shepley Bulfinch, architecture and interior design; Muller Associates, mechanical, electrical and plumbing; Hord Coplan Macht, landscape architect; and Whiting-Turner, construction and management.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].