Campus Plan – An Exciting Vision for Maria

Read Dr. Gamble’s letter to the Maria Community Here 

Beginning several years ago with a charge from the Strategic Plan, Maria College began to develop a campus master plan with the goal of improving the appearance, safety and efficiency of the campus and learning spaces and positioning Maria College for a strong future. Through the development of the campus master plan the College solidified the idea to bring our mission to bear on the environment by making the College’s values physically visible. The ultimate goal of the multi-year project is to enhance the student experience here at Maria College and to make sure our campus, buildings, and spaces better reflect our mission and heritage.

THE HEALTHCARE PROGRAM PHASE (McAuley/Nursing/OTA): Completed December 2018

The early stage of this project involved re-imagining the learning spaces for the Occupational Therapy program. This stage of the project commenced with the $750,000 renovation to McAuley to create state-of-the-art Distance Learning Center and other students in front of McAuley Buildingclassrooms, an Activities of Daily Living suite, and other hands-on learning spaces. Construction began in October 2017 and was completed at the end of December 2018, when the vision to move the program into the McAuley Building was realized. These spaces were officially opened in January of 2018.

The design process to relocate the Nursing Program to the McAuley Building began immediately after receiving approval from the Maria College Board of Directors with the scope presented at the April 2018 Board Meeting. Maria College was able to acquire a generous furniture donation that allowed the Nursing faculty to move into their intended spaces on the 3rd Floor of the Building during the summer of 2018. The design of two state-of-the art skills labs with 14 stations, installation of four Sim Manikins commenced immediately, and construction work began in August 2018. This work was completed in December in time for the Spring Semester 2019 classes to take advantage of these areas.

THE ENTRANCE PHASE: Completed May 2020 

The Entrance Phase involved major changes to the site plan of Maria College, with a goal of making the campus more attractive, increasing pedestrian safety, enhancing lighting, and updating the grounds and facilities. This part of the plan began in August 2019 and was completed in May 2020. The Entrance Phase brought the campus entrance to the western side of Marian Hall, and included the majority of the parking lot and site work. This phase was the most noticeable externally as vehicle traffic was routed around Marian Hall to improve safety and parking, lighting was added, and the new entryway was installed. Designed to compliment the historic Marian Hall, the new entryway and traffic pattern provides the structure to move campus green space to the center of campus in the final phase of the project.

Artist Rendering Cafe

 

THE BUILDING UPGRADE PHASE: May 2020 – March 2021

The Building Upgrade phase invovles the reconstruction of several wings of the Main Building, adding an elevator, a handicapped accessible entrance to the back of the building, and equipping the OTR laboratory. This phase will see the return of campus food service in the new Campus Cafe, to be operated by Honest Weight Food Co-op, and new student lounge space. These changes to the Main Building will improve the student experience and add modern, flexible gathering spaces for the campus community.

 

THE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY PHASE: January 2021 – August 2021

The Educational Technology phase will look to improve the learning technology in all of our classrooms. From smartboards and cameras to broadcast lectures, to simulation software and IT hardware, the Maria classrooms will be equipped with state of the art teaching and learning technology and aids to deliver a twenty-first century career-relevant education to our students. Look for this phase to begin in the new year.

 

THE GREEN PHASE: March 2021 – August 2021
 
The Green Phase will begin in March of 2021, and is the final phase in our campus master plan. Physical space, art, the natural world, and beauty are important expressions of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and should lead the mind and heart to God. The work of thisCampus Plan Map phase will focus on adding green space and the integration of natural landscaping to all corners of the campus, ensuring our campus reflects the beauty and values of our Mercy heritage.
 
Providing spaces for reflection and inspiration is an important expression of the mission at Maria College. For many in our campus community, spaces should be available for quiet, and respite from the busy-ness and chaos of the world. This should also assist the academic pursuit of reflection, thought, and the quest for truth. We are excited to share more information on the green phase with you in the coming months as we finalize plans with our architects, the City of Albany, and the campus community.