By: Violet Achimuagole
Morgan State University Newsroom
“Growing the future, leading the world.” Evidence is easy to come by that Morgan takes this tagline seriously. There is the University’s top ranking in production of Fulbright Scholars, for example, and the fact that Morgan is first in graduating African-American engineers. And then there’s the current “Exhibit A”: Morgan’s recently completed Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS).
CBEIS, a 125,000-square-foot, $67-million, state-of-the-art facility, will house research and instructional programs in Architecture and Planning; Transportation and Urban Infrastructure Studies; and Civil Engineering, in a highly cooperative and collaborative setting.
Having this powerful mix of disciplines under one roof sets Morgan apart from most other institutions of higher education. (The only other regional university with a similar housing arrangement is Howard University, which, unlike Morgan, has its engineering and architecture programs in the same college.) But that’s hardly the only thing that makes CBEIS special. The building is equipped with innovative technologies such as 3D projectors, an earthquake simulator, solar panels and an architecture studio with three high-quality printers. The earthquake simulator is one of only two on the east coast and “can shake up to nine points on the Richter scale,” reports Mary Anne Akers, Ph.D., dean of Morgan’s School of Architecture and Planning.
CBEIS features 34 classrooms/studios/computer labs; 100 offices; 10 group study rooms, conference rooms and jury rooms; four laboratories; a model shop; atrium spaces with skylights; lounges; a green roof; a loading/service access and 300 parking spaces.
The deans and department chairs of the resident programs expect CBEIS to aid their research and instruction.
“The engineering group is going from a university-level teaching facility to a research facility,” says Julie Wilson, design and construction project manager for CBEIS. “We have very unique equipment in this building.”
CBEIS was the vision of Dr. Earl Richardson, former president of MSU, and was launched with the assistance of Cynthia Wilder, the University’s facility planner. Hord Coplan Macht designed the facility, in association with The Freelon Group.
The new Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies is located on the northern-most edge of Morgan’s campus. The building is designed to interact with and provide a link between two very different environments: the urban context along Perring Parkway and the natural landscape of the Herring Run Watershed.
The grand opening for CBEIS will take place this summer on Sept. 20.