BSE ribbon cutting[View photos from the event and a live recording of the program.]

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) – a regional campus of the University System of Maryland in Montgomery County that offers degree programs from nine different Maryland public universities – celebrated today the opening of its fourth academic building, a $175 million, state-of-the-art Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) education facility.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, USM Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret, university presidents from around the state, USG Executive Director Stewart Edelstein, and the USG Board of Advisors were joined by an array of elected officials, business and community leaders, faculty, staff and students for the grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting. Hundreds attended the grand opening event, which was followed by tours of the BSE and a STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical studies) Showcase to highlight programs that partner universities will be bringing to the new facility, as well as area science and technology businesses that are partnering with USG.

USG is a regional higher education center of the University System of Maryland that offers approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs from nine different state universities, all on one convenient, full-service campus in Rockville. Students who attend USG pursue and earn their degrees directly from the partner universities that offer the programs on the campus.

The new BSE building will provide USG with the opportunity to expand educational offerings and degrees in the STEM fields, including new programs from UMBC in life sciences, cybersecurity and engineering; from the University of Maryland, College Park, including the Clark School of Engineering; and from the School of Dentistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Governor Larry Hogan and Dr. Stewart EdelsteinOne of the first and most unique features of the BSE will be a community dental clinic operated by the School of Dentistry. Equipped with 24 operatory stations, the clinic will provide comprehensive dental care to community patients. Patient care will be provided by faculty-supervised dental students and dental hygiene students.

The BSE is a six-level, 220,000-square-foot facility that doubles the footprint of the campus. It will enable USG to ultimately increase enrollment capacity from its current 3,000-plus students to more than 7,500, over the next several years.

The building has been constructed as one of the most sustainably sourced laboratory buildings in the region and is on track to be certified as LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification issued by the U.S. Green Business Council. Key sustainability features of the building and project include the materials and resources used in construction; indoor environmental quality enhancements; protection of the local ecology in design and construction; water efficiency; and energy use.

Another highlight of the BSE is a spectacular, outdoor public artwork entitled “Piney Branch Water Garden,” by the renowned Michael Singer Studio. The artwork – which connects directly to an elevated campus boardwalk that was built to traverse wetlands associated with the Piney Branch watershed – features harvested rainwater, flowing over layers of underwater sculpted surfaces and includes night lighting. Sculpted panels are repeated on a living wall of the interior of the building and represent abstractions of natural patterns, systems and structures referencing the scientific disciplines within the BSE. Michael Singer is an award-winning artist with commissioned public art projects throughout the nation and abroad. The studio was selected to design and produce the public art at USG through the Maryland Public Art Initiative, which is administered by the Maryland State Arts Council.  

Among other features of note about the BSE facility:

  • 20 fully equipped teaching laboratories;
  • Two 120-plus seat lecture halls and 12 active learning classrooms;
  • Clinical training facilities, including the dental clinic with 20 dental chairs and four surgical offices;
  • Product design laboratory and maker spaces for student research;
  • Academic Offices;
  • A future innovation and entrepreneurship center where students and mentors will work collaboratively with local businesses to develop new ideas and technologies; and
  • Student affairs offices to support academic success, career and internship services, and counseling and consultation.

The architectural firms Cooper Carry and Lake|Flato collaborated on the planning and design of the BSE. Gilbane Building Company served as the construction management firm, under oversight by University of Maryland Capital Projects, Department of Planning and Construction.

“For nearly 20 years, the Universities at Shady Grove has been providing students with opportunities to complete baccalaureate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields offered on campus by our nine university partners,” said USG Executive Director Stewart Edelstein. “The opening of this state-of-the-art Biomedical Sciences and Engineering facility will enable us to expand our ability to serve students and the region by bringing a variety of much-needed and in-demand STEMM programs into Montgomery County.”

“The Universities at Shady Grove is a critical, successful, and major component of the higher education landscape in Montgomery County. Having served several years ago on the USG Board of Advisors, it gives me great pride to see this marvelous new facility move from concept to completion,” said Linda Gooden, Chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. “We are grateful to leadership in Annapolis for providing the funding to support this important and unique regional model.”

 “In many ways this new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering education facility at USG represents the best of the USM regional center model—providing students with access to an affordable education, businesses with innovation partners and a highly trained workforce, and communities with enhancements to the local quality of life,” said USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret.  “We are proud to expand this important work in Montgomery County, and greatly appreciate both the state and county leaders who support this vision.”

To see additional news stories from the day, please visit:

Washington Post  (Op-ed by Dr. Stewart Edelstein and Mike Knapp)
Washington Post (article by Nick Anderson)
Maryland Today (published daily by Universitiy of Maryland, College Park)