Project Description

University of Maryland – Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center

The University of Maryland’s Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center is the first new academic building on the UMD campus in 50 years dedicated solely to classroom space. From classrooms to break-out spaces, each space embraces and facilitates student interaction.

The Sextant Group oversaw audiovisual, acoustics, and learning space consulting for the $120M, 63,400 SF new construction and 27,400 SF renovation project. The facility caters to nearly 12,000 students daily, and includes

  • Twelve classrooms and nine general chemistry teaching labs
  • Five breakout rooms and five seminar rooms
  • Four cafes and two green roofs
  • Two study rooms and two tutorial rooms
  • 132-seat flexible multipurpose classroom
  • Open student lounge areas/huddle space

TERP Classrooms (“Teach, Engage, Respond, and Participate”) promote team-based and collaborative pedagogies. They provide a technology-enhanced environment for students and more interaction between students and faculty. The rooms, now totaling 20+ campus wide, feature small group clusters or a tiered structure.

Larger tiered classrooms, from 150-328 seats, offer space for traditional, lecture-based classes. Features include multiple screens and projectors, supplemental wall-mount flat panel displays, confidence monitors, and cameras that use rich media capture and recording. Technological benefits include web streaming, distance learning, and audio/video recording. Multi-purpose classrooms, seminar rooms, and open huddle spaces highlight technology-enhanced, small-group collaborative learning. Audio/video recording and lecture capture support distance learning. All spaces are collaborative, including labs.

The facility houses the Learning and Teaching Transformation Center, which helps to educate students, faculty, and staff with training, resources, activities, and individualized consultation to transform their classrooms and careers. ESJ also houses the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Division of Information Technology’s Academic Technology and Innovation team, and the Honors College, which features a collaboration and makerspace known as “The Loft.”

The Edward St. John Teaching and Learning Center, providing space for lecture-style courses, small-group collaborative learning, and personal and professional development, redefines the university’s standard of education and sets the standard for audiovisual design for future campus buildings. The building also features floor-to-ceiling windows in most classrooms and hallways, two green roofs (one for use by students for study), four cafes, student lounge areas and seven huddle rooms for small conferences that appear as glass blocks in hallway space.

Senior Consultant Alexis Kurtz attended the Grand Opening of the project. Her favorite quote from the ceremony? Donor, UMD Engineering grad, and namesake Edward St. John himself said, “Never miss an opportunity to help someone.”

Project Details

  • Location: College Park MD
  • Size: 95,800 GSF
  • Budget: $85M
  • Planning/Design: Audiovisual, Acoustics, Learning Space Consulting
  • Year Completed: 2017