The region's fastest-growing academic program has surged ahead of its own ambitious schedule. Opened in fall 2009, the Marywood University School of Architecture, the first and only school of its kind in Northeast Pennsylvania, exceeded enrollment expectations in each of the past three fall semesters. In response to this success, the University decided to accelerate its Phase II expansion plans.
The space that many alumni knew as the Rosary Field House or, later, the Health and Physical Education Center, has been dramatically transformed for a new generation of students.
The facility's new occupants understand better than most that a design for success blends tradition with transformation, and the Phase II renovations reflect that preservation philosophy. Amid the 44 additional student workstations, the installation of more chilled beam technology, and the reuse of original building materials, relics from the building's past are visible. Depth markers and ceramic tiles are tactile reminders that the space was once home to swim classes and water ballets. Now, instead of indicating levels of chlorinated water, they adorn a contemporary learning area, illustrating how old space can be reused and renewed.
A large glass façade—visible from the building's south side, where a solid wall of cinder block once stood—offers pedestrians a spectacular view. Spanning floor to ceiling, the windows are designed to harvest light. Chilled beam technology, along with innovative geothermal energy that utilizes water from the flooded mines below, cool the building, making the space more ecologically sustainable. The Phase II expansion also features a library, gallery space, a spray booth, laser cutter, and a metal and wood shop.
Joe Gibney '13, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture degree, says with the addition of Phase II, Marywood offers students incomparable learning opportunities.
"Every student and staff member is extremely excited about the program," Gibney said. "[It] is founded on the practices of sustainability and green architecture, something that not many schools have."
Doubling the size of the Center for Architectural Studies, the Phase II renovations, mechanical systems, and design structure have further enhanced the students' opportunities to learn from their environment. These real-world examples of architectural sustainability surround students on a daily basis, providing ongoing teachable experiences. This education, in part, prepares students for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) professional accreditation exam, a signature component of Marywood's program and the University's mission.
For Gregory K. Hunt, FAIA, Dean of the School of Architecture, pairing environmental stewardship with service is crucial for success.
"We often ask our students to serve as community builders by participating in service projects that benefit the region," Dean Hunt said. "These efforts build an awareness of a larger professional responsibility to serve society locally, regionally, and even globally."
Architecture students have taken the dean's concept to heart and applied it to various projects, doing their part to lend a helping, healing hand to the local community in the form of toy donations, community theater projects, and museum exhibits. Graduate students in the program have proposed redesign ideas for underutilized buildings in Scranton and have designed a therapy garden for St. Joseph's Center. These ideas were displayed at "Lost But Not Least," an exhibit in The Connell Building during Scranton's First Friday Art Walk last spring. Students continue to put their minds to work, creating innovative, community-focused ideas and building on a tradition of service.
Marywood University is moving forward, and the School of Architecture is helping to lead the charge, challenging students to understand more deeply the global and regional issues they will face.
Maria McDonald, Clinical Instructor in the School of Architecture, looks to the University's past, as well as its founding spirit, which she believes will help to shape its future.
"Since day one, I felt I was part of something special. Every day, I feel I am building on the foundation that was laid out by our IHM heritage," she explained. "When you combine service and academics, it provides [a person] with an unmatchable educational experience."
The School of Architecture continues to demonstrate its commitment to integrate, innovate, and further advance academic excellence, service, and environmental stewardship, capturing the courageous vision of the IHM Congregation. With the completion of the Phase II renovation, the Center for Architectural Studies is a beacon of this bold heritage, foreshadowing another forward-looking era of dynamic progress.
Kenny Luck '08 (M.A. '10) and Michael Dickinson contributed to the reporting for this article.
Architectural/Engineering Design Executive
Will Be Keynote Speaker at Architecture Dedication
Michael S. Burke, J.D., the President of AECOM Technology Corporation, a Fortune 500 Company and a global provider of architectural, engineering, and construction management services, will be the keynote speaker at the Dedication of the Center for Architectural Studies, Phase II expansion.
Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Burke served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AECOM. Since he joined the company in 2005, AECOM has tripled its revenue and doubled its workforce, while considerably expanding its service offerings and geographic reach, through more than 30 strategic acquisitions. AECOM is the world’s largest engineering design firm, with 45,000 employees—serving clients in approximately 125 countries around the globe. Employing more than 1,500 architects, AECOM is also the world’s largest architecture firm. The company’s projects vary from the World Trade Center site in New York City to the world's largest bridge in China, to the upcoming London Olympics, to half of the 15 largest infrastructure projects underway around the world.
Mr. Burke received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Scranton and his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law. He is a current member of the California Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In addition, he actively serves on the board of the Children’s Bureau.
Dedication Will Feature Named Gift Recognitions
Two named gifts will be recognized and blessed at the dedication of the Center for Architectural Studies, Phase II, set for Saturday, October 22, 2011, at 3:30 p.m.
The Tedesco Lounge
The lounge on the first floor of the Center for Architectural Studies will be named in honor of former trustee James J. Tedesco and his wife, Eileen Tedesco. Their children, former trustee Kathryn Tedesco Cesare, James Tedesco, Jr., and Eileen Tedesco Griffiths wanted to memorialize their parents in a meaningful and lasting way. The Tedesco Lounge hums with energy from the constant flow of student activity, but between classes, it transforms into a peaceful place where students can sit and study.
The John T. Wulko Dean’s Office
Marywood trustee and alumna Ann R. Henry ’73, Ph.D., has named the Dean’s Office in honor of her husband, Mr. John T. “Ted” Wulko. Mr. Wulko began his career as a structural designer, completing undergraduate courses at Drexel University. After working many years as a structural designer, he decided to change careers and completed his B.A. in Interior Design from Philadelphia University in 1998. The John T. Wulko Dean’s Office is the epicenter of the School of Architecture’s academic administration.
Check out additional photos from the photo shoot in the gallery below.