THE UNIVERSITY of Maryland, Baltimore recently released details of a $38 million plan to double the size of its Law Library building at Baltimore and Paca streets. It was the latest expansion announcement at the downtown campus.
"The need for the building is critical and is caused by the dramatic changes in legal education over the past generation," law school Dean Donald G. Gifford explained in accepting a $2.5 million commitment toward the project from the France-Merrick Foundations. He said to day's law students and interns need more flexible clinic space.
The Law Library building expansion is welcome. It will anchor the law school more firmly to the UMAB campus, ending any lingering speculation about moving it to Bowie.
The recent growth of UniversityCenter has been staggering. And it is not over.
Over the past decade, the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, and the adjoining University of Maryland Medical System have spent roughly half a billion dollars on construction and renovations. More than half a dozen major buildings -- ranging from the $90 million Homer Gudelsky Building to a 900-car garage -- have been erected.
More than $446 million worth of additional projects are in the pipeline. The new Health Sciences Library is scheduled for completion in April at Greene and Lombard streets, followed by a nearby addition to the School of Nursing. Meanwhile, demolition work has started to make way for a $218 million medical diagnostic and treatment wing next to the Gudelsky Building.
The UniversityCenter institutions are among the driving forces in current efforts to revitalize the western edge of downtown. Among vacant buildings controlled by UMAB are the old Hippodrome and Town theaters, which could become the site of performing arts center.
A task force is expected to report by May on plans to revitalize Howard Street's former retail corridor. The expanding UniversityCenter, bordering on that area as well as on Camden Yards, is a crucial piece of that puzzle.
Pub Date: 2/14/98