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Notre Dame Dedicates New University Academic Building

October 18, 2013

Notre Dame of Maryland University officials cut the ribbon Friday, Oct. 18 on the campus’ newly completed University Academic Building at a dedication and blessing ceremony.

"This will be a center of seeking, learning, and teaching what is true," said Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore, who was on hand to bless the new facility. "We pray that those who teach and learn in this building may join in the discovery of human and divine wisdom, so that they will be able to assist others in the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness all their days."

The stunning three-story, 36,000-square-foot facility is the home of the School of Nursing and Technology Resource Center and is available for use by the entire campus community. It was designed to meet or exceed LEED green building certification, pursuant to the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and is expected to receive a LEED Silver rating.

The facility features the School of Nursing’s Center for Caring with Technology, with state-of-the-art instructional facilities, including simulation labs; observation rooms and pediatrics and patient rooms; a lobby, gallery and other unique spaces to foster interaction and teamwork; and clinical laboratory space. 

The simulation labs for nursing students use the latest instructional technology available, including several computer-operated human patient simulators. These sophisticated mannequin-like simulators can be made to breathe, talk, and generate heart, breath and bowel sounds. Students can check the simulator’s blood pressure, insert an IV and shock him. If necessary, he can die—all for the purpose of putting nursing students in realistic clinical situations.

Sr. Christine DeVinne, Vice President for Academic Affairs noted that the University Academic Building represents both the tradition and future of Notre Dame.

"As a University, Notre Dame of Maryland has a strong foundation and is reaching for the sky. The tradition and solid liberal arts values are symbolized by the front of campus and the time-honored buildings that are beloved by current students and alums alike," she said. "This part of campus, a bit more contemporary in architecture, represents the current growth, the dedication to meeting the current needs of our students and all of society.

"The needs of education and health care are priorities that Notre Dame has the expertise and excellence to meet. More and more students are coming here to become teachers and nurses, and the world is changing because of their contributions, as well as those of their classmates and friends in other fields," she said.

The $15 million building was designed by the S/L/A/M Collaborative and constructed by the Whiting Turner Contracting Company. It was financed with a $4 million matching grant from the State of Maryland. Grants from the Marion and Henry J. Knott Foundation, the Middendorf Foundation and the Hearst Foundations helped in funding the installation and technology of the clinical simulation labs within the Caring with Technology. A grant from the Maryland Hospital Association provided funding for the new entry-level baccalaureate program in the School of Nursing. 

Kevin Herrick, principal with the S/L/A/M Collaborative, said his firm takes great pride in the completed project.

"According to Winston Churchill, 'We shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us,'" he said. "We are excited that in this opportunity we at S/L/A/M have been shaped by the traditions and values of NDMU, and helped shape the future of a state-of-the-art facility."