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Marymount Welcomes Community to New Ballston Center

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Marymount Welcomes Community to New Ballston Center Marymount Welcomes Community to New Ballston Center Marymount Welcomes Community to New Ballston Center
 
President Matthew D. Shank warmly welcomed the Arlington community to Marymount University’s new Ballston Center at a grand opening reception on Wednesday, September 13, telling 200 guests that the $75 million multi-use complex that opened last month for academic, office and residential purposes was also for them.

“What an amazing accomplishment for Marymount University but also an amazing accomplishment for a lot of people in this room,” Dr. Shank said. “This building is not just for our students, faculty and staff: It’s for all the community and we hope you visit us often.”

The LEED Gold Certified complex is comprised of a nine-story academic/office building and The Rixey, a 12-story residential/retail building, each boasting multi-level underground parking. The complex is anchored by a public plaza and courtyard.

“This would not have been possible without the Shooshan Company and the Shooshan family,” Shank said, adding that the family business was the perfect partner. “Their values align exactly with Marymount’s.”

Shooshan led a group that included architects Gensler and SK&I; Clark Construction, HITT Contracting, landscape architects Studio 39, and Avison-Young, leasing agent for the top three floors of office space at Ballston Center’s academic facility. Its first six floors house Marymount’s School of Business Administration, along with the Counseling Department and Legal & Forensic Psychology Department from the School of Education & Human Services, and the office of Graduate Enrollment Services. The ground floor will also house retail (Starbucks is already a tenant).

Earlier in the afternoon, Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge celebrated Mass and dedicated the new altar in the second floor chapel. Shank called Burbidge “a great partner to Marymount” and said the dedication is central to the mission and vision of the Catholic university, noting that “every piece of our education will stem from that chapel.”

The president praised the incredible vision of Sister Majella Berg, who served as Marymount president for 32 years and in 1992 purchased the site’s former building, affectionately dubbed “the Blue Goose,” and its two acre parcel. Shank also thanked several others, including past Board of Trustees chairman Joseph Maurelli, who served throughout the project’s conception and construction; Maria Coakley David, chair of the board’s finance committee; and current Board chair Dr. Edward Bersoff.

In his brief remarks, Bersoff said that in place of the “Old Blue Goose” now stands a new “Regal Eagle.”

“This effort took more than a village,” he said. “It took an entire county.”

In fact, representatives from Arlington County’s first responders were on hand to show their gratitude for a special wireless system that will allow them to use their radios if there should ever be a need for them to answer a call in the new complex. (Often first responders’ radios don’t work well inside large, modern buildings.) Several principals involved in the complex’s technology development received special plaques from the county, including Steve Munson, executive director of Marymount’s IT services.

Shank said the facility “reflected the new Marymount University” and urged everyone touring the building to note several key features, including the third floor library, Eats Café, the 208-seat auditorium that is available for public use and the second floor art gallery that’s open to the public.

Afterward, while looking out from a second floor lobby, Maria Coakley David pointed to the intersection of North Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive.

“This intersection is the heart of Ballston, and when you’re here you really feel like you’re part of something bigger and very important,” she said.

The building drew rave reviews from both current students and alumni.

Joe Walsh, a Marymount senior from Germantown, Maryland, said the views were spectacular. The finance and accounting major likes the way the classrooms are designed, not with desks in parallel rows, but instead moveable to allow for more personal interaction between professors and students.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Mary Smith Carson, a 1990 alumnus who serves on the Board of Visitors.

“Back when I went to school here our classes were all over town, all over campus,” Carson said. “We’re all so very proud of this fabulous new academic building and all the progress the university has made.”

Marymount University is an independent, coeducational Catholic university offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a wide range of disciplines.

Photo captions
Photo 1
President Matthew D. Shank warmly welcomed the Arlington community to Marymount University’s new Ballston Center at a grand opening reception on Wednesday, September 13, telling 200 guests that the $75 million multi-use complex that opened last month for academic, office and residential purposes was also for them.

Photo 2
The LEED Gold Certified complex is comprised of a nine-story academic/office building and The Rixey, a 12-story residential/retail building, each boasting multi-level underground parking. The complex is anchored by a public plaza and courtyard.

Photo 3
Guests mingle in the lobby of the new Ballston Center, which features an art gallery that’s open to the public, a state-of-the-art auditorium and many other amenities. “This building is not just for our students, faculty and staff: It’s for all the community and we hope you visit us often,” said Marymount President Dr. Matthew Shank.
 
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