Bowie State University Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Nursing

Bowie, Maryland
A Beacon Beckons

Can a building’s design inspire a bright young student to change her major? The answer is yes. And, in case you’re wondering, she changed it to nursing.

You could also say that the governor of Maryland played a large part in this young woman’s journey to healthcare. After all, he toured the campus to ensure he understood the need for the new STEM building. Convinced, he set the project in motion.

Design elements include timeless patterns seen in nature—lightning, leaves, shells—and a strong oval glass structure in a corner wing called The Beacon. To pay respect to the elements that inspired us, we made sure that the impact on the environment was minimal.

The majority of the glass on the building is electrochromic and changes opacity with the day. Sensors planted on top of the building send signals to change tinting and shading as well as heating and cooling.

At the ribbon cutting, the governor discussed the importance of STEM. We were also reminded of the far-reaching impact a forward-thinking group of people can have on individual and her career path.

The research lab suite includes a collaborative lab environment for chemistry, biology and physics, with core labs for microscopy, spectrometry, and an NMR.

“We just want to be good stewards.” That was Bowie State’s answer when asked why they created a campus-wide initiative to include solar panels on all their buildings’ roofs.

It’s a good thing, too. By the time the Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Nursing project kicked off, the university’s initiative was in full swing and allocated the forward-thinking technology to the new building.

Thanks to the addition, the building—already designed with a smaller-than-usual environmental footprint—was awarded LEED Platinum, the highest certification available.

Several of the classrooms are adaptable to grow or reduce in size to match changing needs across disciplines as curriculum changes occur.

Project Team

Dan Watch
Keith Curtis
Manuel Cadrecha
Paula McEvoy
Paul Harney
Stephanie Wolfgang
Stephanie Wolfgang