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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

Media Advisory
Dedication of Decker Quadrangle: Oct. 27

October 16, 2007
To: Reporters, editors, producers, daybooks
From: Dennis O'Shea | 443-287-9960 | dro@jhu.edu
Re: Dedication of Decker Quadrangle: Oct. 27 [open to media coverage]
What: The Johns Hopkins University will dedicate the new Alonzo G. and Virginia G. Decker Quadrangle at its Homewood campus. The $77 million project, under construction since 2005, includes Mason Hall (an admissions office and visitors center), the Computational Science and Engineering Building (an interdisciplinary research building) and the South Garage, a three-level, 604-space underground structure covered by a "green" roof.
When: Saturday, Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (Black tie-optional event includes tours beginning at 5:30 p.m.; a sit-down dinner for more than 600 guests beginning at 7:10 p.m.; formal program beginning at 7:30 p.m.; fireworks finale about 9:25 p.m.).
Where: Under a tent on Decker Quadrangle on the south end of the Homewood campus.
Who: Honored guests include
Virginia Decker, widow of Alonzo Decker Jr., the longtime chairman and CEO of Black & Decker Corp. and former Johns Hopkins University trustee who died in 2002. Decker Quadrangle is named in honor of their service to and support of the university over decades. That support includes $7 million in proceeds from the sale of Alonzo Decker's final gift, a bequest of the couple's home and farm on the Sassafras River on Maryland's Eastern Shore, which helped fund construction of Decker Quadrangle.
Raymond A. "Chip" and Rand Mason. Mr. Mason, chairman, president and CEO of Legg Mason Inc., has been a trustee of The Johns Hopkins University since 1987 and this year completed a six-year term as chair of the board of trustees. The Masons' gift made possible the construction of Mason Hall.
Coverage: News media intending to cover the dedication MUST contact Dennis O'Shea in advance at 443-287-9960 or dro@jhu.edu

Alonzo G. and Virginia G. Decker Quadrangle

Overview: The Decker Quadrangle forms a welcoming new gateway at the southern end of The Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus. It includes three new structures and two existing buildings.

New to campus are the Mason Hall admissions and visitor center at the south end of the quadrangle, facing Baltimore; the Computational Science and Engineering Building on the east side; and the underground South Garage, a 604-space structure covered by a grass roof that forms the open space at the center of the quadrangle. . The quadrangle's north end is formed by the existing administration building, Garland Hall, opened in 1971. On the west is Clark Hall, a biomedical engineering building opened in 2001.

Construction on Mason Hall, the Computational Science and Engineering Building and the South Garage began in September 2005 and was completed this fall. All three were designed by Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott, a Boston-based firm. Construction management was by the Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. Total cost of the project was $77 million.

At about 75,000 square feet, the quad's green space, sitting above the three-level underground garage, is one of the largest "green roofs" in the Middle Atlantic. The project required excavation of about 90,000 cubic yards of earth, about 11,000 dump truck loads.

Mason Hall: Mason Hall houses the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and also serves as a welcome center for other university friends and visitors. The 28,000-square-foot building, facing south toward downtown Baltimore, was conceived by the university and its architects as a new front door to campus. Mason Hall's name honors the building's chief donors, Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, trustee emeritus and former chairman of the university's board of trustees, and his wife, Rand.

In keeping with Homewood's prevailing architecture, Mason Hall features a red brick and white marble trim exterior and a roof topped by dormers and chimneys. It is flanked by a pair of colonnades that ultimately will connect to future buildings in the southwest and southeast portions of Decker Quad. The grounds feature a sweeping front driveway, gardens and a fountain.

Mason Hall's first floor includes a reception hall, living room, and library with electronic and photographic exhibits and Johns Hopkins-related artifacts; a 125-seat auditorium; and a boardroom for the Alumni Association. The second and third floors house meeting rooms, interview rooms and office space for the admissions office.

Computational Science and Engineering Building: The 80,000-square-foot building is home to research centers that use computational tools to solve important problems. Their work ranges from creating computer models of the beating heart to advancing computerized speech recognition to programming robots to assist in surgery or navigate inaccessible underwater terrain.

The building strengthens not only the Whiting School of Engineering's ability to support multidisciplinary research and education but also its already-strong ties to medicine and the life sciences. The interior represents a departure from traditional design of academic buildings at Homewood, generally organized around departments. In the belief that the future lies in collaborations among various engineering disciplines, and between engineering and other disciplines, the university and its architects designed the new building to offer opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, as well as other researchers from a variety of disciplines across Johns Hopkins and industry, to work together under one roof on problems of common interest.

The building houses the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, the Institute for Computational Medicine, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Teaching Lab, and the Center for Language and Speech Processing.

South Garage: The 604-space garage encompasses 210,000 square feet on three levels. It will serve as the primary Homewood campus visitor parking site, with immediate access to the Mason Hall admissions and visitors center above. It will also provide faculty and staff parking for Johns Hopkins and visitor parking for the Baltimore Museum of Art.