Polar Bear Plunge

Polar Bear Plunge


Project Spotlights

Margarent Brent Relocation

1999-2009 Campus Facilities Plan


The 1999-2009 Campus Facilities Plan for St. Mary’s College of Maryland is a comprehensive statement of the facility needs and campus improvements necessary to carry the College into the twenty-first century. It is especially significant that the plan for the 1999-2009 period is the first to reflect the designation of St. Mary’s College by the Maryland General Assembly in 1992 as the Public Honors College of the Maryland higher education system. The "honors college" designation encompasses a strong liberal arts curriculum offered in a residential environment that is oriented to talented students who are admitted through a highly competitive process.

The development of this Facilities Master Plan is based on goals set forth in previous College planning efforts, including the new Honors College Curriculum (1996), an information technology plan (1996), and a Strategic Financial Plan (1997).

Key institutional objectives born from these planning efforts include increases to student enrollment, additional resources for academic programs, improvements in information technology, and improvements to co-curricular and extracurricular life for students.

Facilities Master Plan Objectives

The intent of the 1999 - 2009 Campus Facilities Plan is to identify the capital projects that are essential to accommodate the institutions strategic objectives as noted above.

Among these:

  • Provide facilities to support enrollment growth,
  • Alleviate existing academic space deficiencies,
  • Accommodate student project space needs associated with the new honors curriculum.

Key Principles

The Campus Facilities Plan is predicated, as well, on principles that are intended to reinforce the "quality of place" of St. Mary's College as a setting that reinforces its fundamental mission. These principles focus on the historical, natural, and architectural setting of the campus. As initially conceived in the 1986-1995 Master Plan by Jacqueline Robertson, specific principles include the following:

  • preservation of the human scale "walking campus,"
  • protection of the archaeological resources of historic St. Mary's City,
  • protection and enhancement of the environment, and
  • creation of unified, coherent open spaces.


The preparation of the Facilities Master Plan has been undertaken by the College and its consultants, working in a highly interactive way, for over two years. The architectural firm, Bohlin, Cywinski Jackson, and landscape architect, E. Michael Vergason, have prepared plans and studies for site development, campus organization, and campus design. Facilities programming, space needs analysis, parking needs analysis and report preparation has been provided by the planning firm of Sasaki Associates, Inc., in association with Anthony Blackett, an educational facilities program consultant. John Milner Associates have provided consultation services on archaeological issues.

The development of the Campus Facilities Plan included extensive participation from the campus community. Led by the Executive Vice President for Administration and the Director of Facilities, the plan was vetted through formal reviews with the campus master planning committee (college officers, faculty division heads, administrators, and students) and the Trustee Campus Life Committee. In addition, informal presentations were periodically offered to the campus community to solicit input and suggestions.

Proposed Facilities Program

The proposed 1999-2009 Campus Facilities Plan consists of a strategic array of new construction, additions, renovations, and redistribution of some programs. Specific capital projects of the plan include the following:

New Student Residence Hall - A 216-bed suite-type complex is being planned for a location north and east of the existing townhouses. The facility will complement and add to the existing stock of traditional and apartment residences. A modification to the plan includes another new housing complex of 250 beds.

New Academic Building - Chemistry, psychology, and educational studies will be relocated in a new building to be located between Schaefer Hall and the Townhouse Crescent. The new building will significantly alleviate current deficits in classrooms and laboratories. Space made available in Schaefer, Anne Arundel, and the Library Annex will thus accommodate the needs of other users.

Expansion and Renovation of Montgomery Hall - Studios will be expanded and improved for the fine and performing arts departments housed in Montgomery Hall. In addition, the project will include the construction of a new 750-seat performance hall.

Renovation of Schaefer Hall - Schaefer Hall will be renovated to address space deficiencies in the natural sciences, particularly the inadequacy of the space in which seniors conduct research for St. Mary's Projects

New Boathouse and Waterfront Improvements - The enhancement of the College’s waterfront is an essential objective of the Facilities Master Plan. While detailed planning is yet to be undertaken, the goals are to improve facilities for varsity sailing, recreation, biology research, and hospitality, and to protect against shoreline erosion.

Land-use Strategies

Ultimately, the Campus Facilities Plan will reinforce the compactness, human scale, and functional organization that are essential to the mission of St. Mary's College. The plan will buttress the sense of collegiality that is fundamental to the role of St. Mary's as an honors college for the liberal arts. It calls for new construction to be undertaken on infill sites in or immediately adjacent to the academic core area. It requires that parking and vehicle ways will be removed from the core area to reclaim the integrity of the pedestrian environment. It defines landscape improvements that will unify the campus fabric with its superb natural and historic setting. The Campus Facilities Plan is a blueprint for sustaining the quality of the St. Mary's College campus in the new millennium.

Future Planning

The plan is mindful that the College lies in a National Landmark Historic District and a designated Critical Area of the State of Maryland. Joint planning with the Historic St. Mary's City Commission was undertaken to explore ways to mutually enhance the environment and functions of both institutions through coordinated land-use planning. Subsequent to the adoption of the 1999 - 2009 Campus Facilities Plan, the College and the City developed the Maryland Heritage Project, a joint program of the College and Historic St. Mary's City that will advance the scholarship, study, and interpretation of the historical legacy of Maryland's first capital. In addition, the College and the City are beginning to study reorganizing the Historic Campus Precinct to create a "village" concept. Included will be the reconstruction of Anne Arundel Hall, the City's new museum building, and, possibly, sites for retail development. This planning effort will begin in Fall 2002. Last, the College has begun to study further development for the North Campus to accommodate additional housing and a new fine arts facility.