Maryland Breaks Ground on New School of Public Policy Building

By: Natifia Mullings, University of Maryland

College Park, Md.–The University of Maryland, along with state and local officials, gathered today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the School of Public Policy building. The 70,000 square-foot academic building, designed for the critical exploration of the world’s most pressing issues, will bring together — for the first time in one facility— the School’s five research and policy impact centers and institutes: the Center for Global Sustainability, the Center for International & Security Studies at Maryland, the Center for Public Policy & Private Enterprise, the National Center for Smart Growth, and the Do Good Institute.

“This new building will accommodate the school’s rapid growth in students headed for public policy leadership in the national, international, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Along with its unique curriculum, research leadership, and proximity to the nation’s capital, this building will help propel the school to become one of the very best in the country.”

“This building will be a new home for deliberation and discussion on campus,” added the School of Public Policy Dean Robert C. Orr. “It will allow us to continue developing leaders trained in the art of policy and governance, who will go out into the world to do good.”

Located just steps from the forthcoming Purple Line light-rail station on Baltimore Avenue, the School of Public Policy building will feature a range of uniquely designed spaces for collaboration, an innovative assembly chamber, and an atrium that will serve as a center of activity and meeting place. The atrium will display digital screens for news and feature stacked seminar rooms and additional spaces for study and collaboration. The building’s library and a rooftop terrace will offer scenic views of Chapel Field and beyond. 

As the hub of the nation’s first Do Good campus, the building will also house the new Do Good Hall of Fame and Do Good Plaza. 

In addition to being a facility where more than 90 faculty members and over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students will research and impact public policy locally and globally, the School of Public Policy building will host influential policy leaders, providing a place for the community to interact and engage with experts and practitioners from around the world.

Today’s groundbreaking celebration is part of an ongoing effort to connect the university community to policymakers in the state of Maryland and beyond. Speakers included Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., president of the Maryland Senate, Adrienne A. Jones, speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates,  James D. Fielder Jr., Maryland Secretary of Higher Education, and Bob Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland.

“The University of Maryland continues to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders,” said Miller. “The new School of Public Policy building will provide students with an incredible opportunity to be a part of solutions that will impact the State, as well as the world.”

The School of Public Policy building is expected to open in 2022. For more information and hi-res renderings, visit spp.umd.edu.


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