Twenty years after opening its first large residence for students, the Maryland Institute College of Art plans to build a $16.5 million addition that will increase the number of undergraduates living on campus and help revitalize Baltimore's North Avenue corridor and northern Bolton Hill.
College officials intend to break ground this fall on Commons II, a five-story building with 62 apartments that can accommodate about 240 students. When it opens in the fall of 2013, MICA will have on-campus housing for more than 1,000 students, up from practically none in 1991 and enough for more than half of its undergraduates.
The building, which will replace a parking lot along North Avenue west of Mount Royal Avenue, will be an addition to The Commons, which opened on McMechen Street in 1992 with 99 apartments housing 350 freshmen. Plans by Hord Coplan Macht call for Commons II to include a performance space, lecture hall and artist studios, as well as apartments.
The project represents a key part of MICA's strategy under longtime president Fred Lazarus IV to extend northward and rejuvenate the North Avenue corridor by connecting Bolton Hill with the 100-square-block Station North Arts and Entertainment District to the east.
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