A nearly 100-year-old city landmark will soon become
the home for SPSBE's
Graduate Division of
Education's Baltimore-based programs.
In January, Education Division faculty and staff are
scheduled to move into Seton Court, a 73,000-square-foot
building on North Charles Street located between 28th and
29th streets, just south of the university's Homewood
campus. Extensive renovations on the building, the former
Seton High School, began this month. Currently, the
Education Division occupies space in Whitehead Hall,
Shaffer Hall and a townhouse located on East 29th
Ralph Fessler, SPSBE dean, said that the new facility
will help the division's Baltimore-based programs better
meet the service needs of both the students and the
"This beautiful building gives us a dedicated space to
consolidate our Baltimore-based education programs,"
Fessler said. "It will also allow us to prepare our
students to use the latest technologies, which we want our
teachers to use in schools."
The renovated four-story building will feature six
"smart" classrooms; five seminar/classrooms; two conference
classrooms; a Technovations Lab, where students will be
able to prepare digital lessons and work on their
electronic portfolios; a computer lab; a gallery with
computer workstations; a counseling suite; student and
faculty lounges; and 36 offices. All classrooms, halls and
the gallery will feature wireless Internet service.
Read and Company Architects of Baltimore will lead the
structure's renovation. A.R. Marani, a Baltimore-based
contractor, has been selected as the construction manager
for the project.
SPSBE will take up the building's first two floors.
The Johns Hopkins University Press will occupy some of the
third floor with its Production, Marketing and Circulation
departments. The Milton S. Eisenhower Library will occupy
space on the fourth floor for its Entrepreneurial Library
Program. Current plans are for the MSEL to take occupancy
in February and the Press in March.
Seton Court will soon house the
Baltimore-based programs of SPSBE's Graduate Division of
Education and some offices of the Eisenhower Library and
PHOTO BY HIPS / WILL KIRK
The Graduate Division of Education offers programs for
the preparation and continuing development of teachers,
administrators, special educators and counselors. The
division is organized into the departments of Teacher
Development and Leadership, Teacher Preparation, Special
Education, and Counseling and Human Services.
The division currently engages in more than a dozen
partnership programs in Baltimore City, including the
Professional Development School program for teacher
preparation at Dunbar High School and Maree Garnett
Elementary School; the Baltimore City Teaching Residency
program, which recruits outstanding individuals locally and
nationally to teach in the city's public school system; and
the Urban School Counseling Program, which trains
individuals at various city elementary and secondary
schools in the counseling of multicultural and at-risk
In addition to Baltimore, the division offers classes
and programs on the Montgomery County Campus and at the
Edward Pajak, chair of the Department of Teacher
Development and Leadership, said that the building will
allow SPSBE to better serve the Greater Baltimore area.
"We always had a strong urban mission, and what this
facility will do is raise the visibility of the education
programs, both within the region and on the Homewood
campus," Pajak said. "It's a building that will make our
internal operations work more smoothly and allow us to
greatly enhance our service, such as consolidating and
expanding our counseling services.
The building opened in 1908 as Seton High School. The
school closed in 1988 and was later sold and converted into
offices. Johns Hopkins purchased the property in April 2003
from Sheppard Pratt Investment.
Johns Hopkins will preserve the historical integrity
of the building, which features two wings, a three-story
central grand stairwell, skylights, wide corridors and
glass transoms. The prominent, yet deteriorating, porches
on the building's north facade will be torn down and
rebuilt. The structure also will be made more handicapped
accessible. Some of the building's religious artifacts,
left from its days as a Catholic high school, will remain
in order to retain its historical identity.
Amy Wilson, an instructor in the Teacher Preparation
Department since 1999 and a member of the Seton Court
planning committee, said that the division's staff and
faculty are eager to move into the new space.
"The guiding mission in this effort was to finally
have a home for all of our education classes," she said.
"We are really excited about the designated space and
technology we are now going to have at our disposal to
offer our graduate education students."
Wilson said that having a dedicated space signifies a
major step forward.
"Our division has been reaching out to Baltimore City
in the past five years, and moving here draws attention to
all of the things we are doing in urban education," Wilson
said. "We are continuing to grow and continuing to partner
with city schools to improve learning outcomes for