Scheduled to open in June 2005, the center will serve as a central gathering place for students, faculty and staff, and will be the site of community and cultural activities. Retail spaces open to the general public are planned for the building’s street level.
The university’s administrators point out that UB is the state’s only public university that has no student center. It has received approval from the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and the Maryland Board of Public Works for the new project, and has conducted meeting with the Maryland Historical Trust and numerous community groups to present its plans.
UB president Robert L. Bogomolny said in a statement to the press, "This center will spur economic development and better serve the public through increased retail options and cultural events, and add a landmark building to the Mount Royal corridor. As for our students, they deserve an easily accessible place to meet, exchange ideas and work on projects together."
The center’s design, by Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects of York, Pa., will feature 38,000 square feet within five floors. The glass and stone structure will provide a sense of the 24-hour nature of the UB campus. It will contain a 200-seat theatre, shops, lecture halls and a variety of gathering spaces.
The Central Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored the Murphy & Dittenhafer design with a Citation Award.