The University of Mary Washington celebrated the start of construction of the Information and Technology Convergence Center in a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 20.
The four-story center is designed with a Georgian-style exterior to blend with the buildings on the Fredericksburg campus. The building will be located next to Simpson Library straddling Campus Walk and will connect to the library through the third floor.
Inside, the 76,718 square-foot structure will feature open, flexible gathering spaces where a variety of technology, information and teaching resources will converge.
The center will have a digital theater, a data center, media labs, a café and numerous flexible collaboration areas. The Speaking and Writing centers will relocate to the Convergence Center, as will the university’s Data Center.
“The center will contain flexible, adaptable classrooms, places for collaborative interactive work, resources that we expect students and faculty will define and use in ways that we cannot imagine – and we wouldn’t want to imagine,” said UMW philosophy professor Nina Mikhalevsky, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.
She said the center will stand as a symbol of the university’s commitment to high quality and innovative teaching and student-centered learning. A member of the center’s building committee, Mikhalevsky said the facility will provide resources to enhance the students’ classroom experience, allowing students to create digital information and develop and test new forms of technology.
In her remarks, Board of Visitors Rector Pamela J. White said the center will serve as the academic commons of the university.
“I am convinced that the center is a strong example of our collective commitment to provide our students with the tools and experiences that will enable them not only to succeed in their chosen careers, but to become lifelong learners as well as masterful users and producers of digital information.”
The Convergence Center is expected to be in full use by fall of 2014.