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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 27, 2003 | Vol. 33 No. 9
Conference Center Open for JH Users

On the Mt. Washington campus, Tim Donovan, general manager of the Mt. Washington Conference Center, stands in front of the Octagon and the Training and Development Center.

Five or 150 can be hosted at Mt. Washington campus

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Johns Hopkins activity at its new Mt. Washington campus continues to gear up — and more is to come.

On April 18, the university purchased the 68-acre Mt. Washington Corporate Campus from the St. Paul Cos. in order to relocate administrative offices to the north Baltimore site and provide needed expansion room for the university and health system.

The campus is also the home of the Mt. Washington Conference Center, a facility that is now being actively marketed to all Johns Hopkins affiliates for use for conferences, retreats, strategy and training sessions and other such meetings.

In the coming months, the center's management will continue an ongoing series of open houses for various Hopkins divisions, centers and affiliates to show off the sprawling, stylish facility and let them know it's open for their use.

The conference center, which is managed by Aramark, encompasses three buildings with 12 dedicated conference rooms, 56 guest bedrooms, dining facilities, banquet rooms, a gymnasium and a comprehensive fitness center, which Johns Hopkins employees can join. It also has a 75-seat amphitheater, soundproof breakout areas attached to some of the conference rooms, Internet connections and the latest audio-visual equipment. The campus's grounds feature vast manicured lawns, a pond, gardens, fountains and tracts of wooded areas.

The buildings that comprise the conference center are the Training and Development Center, the Octagon and portions of McAuley Hall. The facility, which also can be rented by the public, caters to groups from five to 150 people.

The campus's parking lots accommodate 2,400 cars.

Tim Donovan, the conference center's general manager, said that since the university purchased the campus there has been a steady increase in Johns Hopkins' use of the space. The center already has been used for conferences, retreats and strategy meetings by the School of Nursing's administration, the Center for Talented Youth, the Dean's Office of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and various departments of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education.

The dining room in the 1855 Octagon, which was renovated by USF&G, a previous owner of the property.

"We constantly get feedback that this conference center sends the message that 'this is a place where we are going to accomplish our objectives,' as compared to a hotel/resort conference center that says 'this is a perk,'" Donovan said. "There are numerous examples of networking opportunities in the design of this center, and the breakout rooms are a good example of that. If individuals or groups want to swap ideas, they can just open the door and enter the common area."

Jim Callahan, a senior director at Johns Hopkins Real Estate, which manages the campus, said that Mt. Washington is viewed as a vital extension of the growing Johns Hopkins campus portfolio.

"Johns Hopkins purchased the campus to meet the growing demands for additional space among its various groups and to support Hopkins' core mission," Callahan said. "The property is strategically located to the [nearby] Homewood campus, and, coupled with its ideal setting and long list of amenities, [that] makes it a very desirable spot for expansion.

"We encourage all Hopkins divisions that are planning a conference or a retreat to consider this location, which they should consider their own."

Callahan said that the identity of Mt. Washington as an actual Johns Hopkins campus should further solidify when occupancy by university and health system tenants begins.

Next month, personnel associated with the HopkinsOne project — an integrated Web-based system for selected Johns Hopkins business functions — will move into approximately 20,000 square feet of the campus's Davis Building.

The Center for Talented Youth, currently housed at 2701 N Charles St., is scheduled to move into two floors of McAuley Hall by spring 2005.

In addition, Johns Hopkins Real Estate is working with several other offices and departments that could move to the campus at some point after the St. Paul Cos. vacates its space in September 2004. In total, the university and health system plan to occupy about 275,000 square feet of the site's 650,000 square feet of space.

The Mt. Washington Corporate Campus straddles the Baltimore City-Baltimore County line just west of the Jones Falls Expressway, off Smith Avenue. The former site of Mount St. Agnes College, the property in recent years was owned and used by United States Fidelity & Guarantee Co. and then by the St. Paul Cos., which merged with USF&G in 1998.

The site includes five major buildings. On the northern end of the campus, in Baltimore County, is the Founders Building, a 250,000-square-foot building leased to Piper Rudnick LLP and other tenants at least until 2010. On the southern side of the property, within the city, are the historic 1855 Octagon and the renovated 1925 McAuley Hall. Also on the southern end are the conference center, adjacent to the Octagon, and Davis Building. Before serving as a college, the Octagon was a finishing school for young women.

For more information about the conference center or to arrange a site visit or schedule an event, call 410-578-7686 or go to

To contact Johns Hopkins Real Estate about available office space, call Jim Callahan at 443-997-3752.


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