The Commons

UMBC’s student body continued to grow throughout the 1980s, and by 1990 it had outgrown the University Center as the main student activity space. The administration decided to build the Commons—a collaboration between Perry Dean Rogers and Design Collective architectural firms. The new location, on the foundation of Gym I, would shift the center of campus life from academic row. The 143,000 square-foot building opened its doors to students a semester behind schedule in Spring 2002; however, it was only a partial opening as many spaces, such as the tiered plaza, were still under construction. Once finished, the Commons featured additional meeting and performing spaces, retail space, and study and leisure areas.