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Physical Sciences Complex

Update on the University of Maryland’s largest construction project

The ellipse provides natural lighting for the building's top three floors.

The opposite side of the building is visible at all angles through the building's center ellipse, which reaches from the atrium to the sky.

Another view of the ellipse.

The ellipse, as seen from the ground floor.

Spiral staircases are not only aesthetically pleasing, but allow for quick travel between floors.

One of the advanced labs.

The University Farm, as seen from the PSC.

The PSC looks out over the playing fields adjacent to the Comcast Center.

The PSC requires an enormous amount of piping for HVAC, power, and other utilities.

Some of the utility equipment that allows for tight control of laboratory conditions.

Updated Feb. 4, 2014: The move is underway and many members of Physics, JQI, and Astronomy have moved in to offices.

Recently, CMNS covered the PSC in their newsletter

The Physical Sciences Complex (PSC), Phase I now under construction on the College Park campus of the University of Maryland will be the new home of the Astronomy Department, and portions of the Physics Department and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, and will contain labs and offices for the use of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI). With almost 160,000 square feet of space and a total project cost of $120 million, the PSC is one of the largest building projects in university history in both size and cost. This includes $15 million of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funding.

PSC Phase I is being constructed to exacting standards for the advanced labs, including humidity control (constant to within 1%), temperature control (constant to about 0.5 degree C), and isolation against vibration.

According to Robert Martinazzi, the project manager for the university, the schedule is pretty much on target. From the outside the building looks pretty far along, but inside much electrical and plumbing work continues. Windows are mostly in but room walls have not yet been put up on the upper floors. The construction company expects to turn the building over to the university in September 2013. Some residents of the building suggest that after furniture and computers are installed it will be more like January 2014 before full scale occupation occurs.

Planning is underway on PSC Phase II, which will bring the rest of the Physics Department and other science activities within the College of Mathematical and Natural Sciences together, creating a unique interdisciplinary complex to advance scientific research and education at the University of Maryland for many years to come.

General PSC Information:

The Joint Quantum Institute is operated jointly by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD and the University of Maryland in College Park.

Media Contact
Phillip F. Schewe
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(301) 405-0989