Convergence Center to open on schedule
BY JULIA DAVIS
The University of Mary Washington Information and Technology Convergence Center, is taking its final form and is expected to be open for full use when students return for the 2014 fall semester.
According to the UMW office of the provost, the Convergence Center will function as an “academic commons building and a place where a variety of technology, information and teaching resources will come together in an environment that is modern, energetic and vibrant.”
The four-story building will house multi-function classrooms, conference rooms, quiet study areas, media labs, a digital auditorium and a cafe.
After a groundbreaking ceremony in the fall of 2012, construction on the center continued approximately year round, closing down a section of Campus Walk in between the Simpson Library and Goolrick Gym. For members of the classes of 2016 and 2017, construction on the Convergence Center was present since they arrived on campus.
“I am looking forward to the opening of the Convergence Center,” said Catie Morton, a freshman with an intended chemistry major. “I think it will be a great addition to campus, and the addition of more technology is always a bonus.”
New technological advancements, including multimedia labs to create presentations, Mac and PC work stations and a recording studio, aim to set the facility apart from other buildings on campus.
Along with new classrooms and features, the office of the provost reports that many campus offices will be relocated to the Convergence Center, including a new Digital Knowledge Center, the computer HelpDesk and the Speaking and Writing Centers.
The new facility for the Speaking Center will also include rehearsal rooms specifically for Speaker Center use
“I’m excited [for the Convergence Center] because we’ll be working more closely with the Writing Center to provide students with better writing and communication skills,” said Michael Friedmann, a junior history major and Speaking Center consultant.
According to the “Overview of the Convergence Center” published by the office of the provost in October 2013, the four-story, 76,716 square foot structure had a budget of $39,375,498. June 2014 is listed as a tentative “substantial completion date” with the building in operation by August 2014.
The latest construction development published from the provost in November was the completion of the windows to seal off the building, allowing work to continue inside the building during colder months.
While the progress on the exterior of the building can be seen, many students expressed that they feel left out on plans for the inside of the building.
“We know how Convergence Center construction will affect us on our way to class,” said Carly Tarne, a junior classics major, citing the e-mail updates sent to UMW students. “But we don’t necessarily know what it’s for. We can see the outside, but we don’t know what the finished product will be.”