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Audio adaptation of Towson Builds Up for the Future story for print

Students of Towson University can look around the area of the campus to see the approaching future defined by bricks, wood, and steel.

A field of industrial clutter awaits the eyes of those who happen to pass by. Awaiting them are chimes of hammering, drilling, and machines working under their controller’s will. The soft smell of dust and cement linger in the air tingling the noses of those who smell the mixed aroma.

Workers press on to create small, large, and medium structures that will soon change the experience for Towson University faculty, staff, and students. All that stands between students and new facilities is time itself.

Time is what plays one of the biggest roles in Towson University’s Master Plan. Ever since 2003, Towson University has implemented structures and upgrades to the campus over periods of time. Walkways, stairs, and the College of Liberal Arts are just a few results of what was in the Master Plan.

The Master Plan is a process that involves multiple people who must manage the plan as it goes through different steps. David Mayhew, the director of the facilities management, architecture, engineering, and construction, is responsible for managing and advocating part of the process.

“The process begins long before documents. Any given project goes through what’s called programming first. The planning department develops the need and the idea that this project supports the academic and the strategic mission. The planning department will then create what is known as a program for the project which defines the overall size and budget.”

The goal of the Master Plan is to expand and grow. Planned additions to Towson’s campus will add up to 20,005,000 Gross Square Feet appointed to the areas of academic support space, recreation space, student spaces, campus housing, and athletic space. By just finishing the College of Liberal Arts Building and upgrades to the Towson Center, Towson will end up spending 167 million.

Most projects that Mayhew and his staff are responsible for that deal with new buildings or a structure of substantial size generally take a year to design and two years to build.

“Sometimes projects might take 18 months to build or even 12 months depending on the complexity and size. But a major academic building like the College of Liberal Arts has a long life and it’s in programming and planning for even a year or two. We’re requesting projects today that aren’t going to be funded until five years from now.”

People at Towson University can look forward to a lot in the future. Upcoming soon are the West Village Commons Dining Facility, which is the rumored second University Union, the finishing of the College of Liberal Arts Building, and plans to renovate the Smith Science building.

Towson University doesn’t seem like it will stop any time soon. Expect a lot more expansions in the nearby future.

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