UMD And Lockheed Martin Corp. Form Partnership

futurephoto

The University of Maryland and Lockheed Martin Corp. last Friday announced a new partnership that would potentially help fill more research and office space at the M-Square research park. The Fortune 500 global security company and the university have ties that go back 60 years. Lockheed Martin has committed to spend $1 million dollars per year for three years with the possibility of continued support in the future.

The new agreement provides a strategic framework for current and future cooperation that leverages the resources, talent, and ideas of both institutions to produce innovative solutions for global and national security challenges. The agreement provides for work in three key areas: Centers of Collaboration, Joint Pursuit of Business Opportunities, and Enhanced Research and Development.

It is currently unknown if the partnership will require space at UMD’s M-Square research park. There are three additional buildings that have not broken ground yet. The key focus areas in the partnership would be a perfect fit at M-Square.

Officials say a key part of the new strategic relationship is the creation of Centers of Collaboration, which will support sustained cooperative work in mutually agreed-upon areas – initially logistics and sustainment, climate change, and cyber-security.

Current tenants at M-Square include the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity organization, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Earth System Science and Interdiciplinary Center, and the American Center for Physics to name a few.

americanphysicscenter

Updated Varsity Renderings and Construction Time-Lapse

The Varsity

Here are a few updated renderings of The Varsity project near the main entrance of the UMD campus. These images provide us with not only the latest glimpse of what the building will look like, but also its relation to Northgate Park which was redesigned during the development review process after a land swap between UMD, MNCPPC and the developer (the building is built right on top of what was originally proposed as a publicly-owned rain garden). We also found this great time lapse camera from the construction site.

While the design doesn’t push the architectural envelope, it is another welcome improvement in the Northgate Development District. The Varsity will add to the increasingly urban feel for the part of Route 1 next to the University View complex. The retail tenants for the ground floor are still a mystery, but any enhancement to the business climate should be a plus. We don’t generally weigh in on architectural issues, but RTCP is concerned that the color schemes used for The Varsity, University View, and Starview Plaza are all nearly identical. Including some distinguishing color schemes along Route 1 could add some some vibrancy and avoid a potentially monotonous built environment.  A vibrant color scheme will let people know they have actually stepped off campus into the City of College Park. Going forward, perhaps there can be more emphasis on distinctive color schemes during the planning phase for new projects.

The Varsity