Division of Information Technology Moves to Discovery District
By: Chrysandra Medley
On Monday, September 10, the University of Maryland (UMD) Division of Information Technology (DIT) officially welcomed the campus community to their new location at the Discovery District research park.
The recently constructed 71,000 square foot three-story building is a welcome change to past DIT accommodations, which historically spread across four buildings on the main UMD campus. According to the university’s press release, the state-of-the-art space will allow DIT to streamline processes, build greater teamwork and better share information and best practices.
The event began with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by UMD President Wallace D. Loh and Provost Maryann Rankin. After which, guests enjoyed refreshments and self-guided tours.
“We are thrilled to be joining the Discovery District and to be part of the growing innovation ecosystem,” said UMD Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Jeffrey Hollingsworth, in the university’s press release. “The incredible new facilities will allow us to collaborate within the Division and with campus partners like never before, allowing our information technology operations to thrive.”
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the DIT relocation was the overall expediency of the process. The Division boasts that it required only 8 months from the test fit in late November 2017 to occupancy this past summer.
Despite its short build time, the aesthetics of the building are impressive. The interior is trendy, with open floor plans dominating the second and third floors. Large, floor-to-ceiling windows allow for plenty of natural light to enter the space. Staff work in short-walled cubicles, lined with whiteboards and sticky notes allowing for visible collaboration. For more privacy, there are 45 conference and focus rooms across the three floors.
Other resources include the university’s first autonomous mini-mart, a series of shelves and refrigerators alongside a sidewall featuring various snacks and drinks. Staff can make purchases using a touch screen and can pay using their credit card or fingerprint.
This January, the space will welcome Navyyard Cafe, a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, coffee, and desserts. The draft menu includes poke and bibimbap bowls, sandwiches, gelato, specialty coffee drinks, and plentiful vegetarian options.