Salisbury University Receives $8 Million Gift - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury University Receives $8M Gift for Construction of Academic Commons

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- One of the Eastern Shore's leading philanthropies, the Guerrieri Family Foundation, on Thursday announced an $8 million gift for the construction of a new Academic Commons, including a state-of-the-art library, at Salisbury University. This is one of the largest private donations for a capital project in the campus' history, according to university officials.

The gift is made in memory of Patricia R. Guerrieri, an SU alumna for whom the new complex will be named. 

The main occupant of the new facility will be the university's library.  Blackwell library was built in 1958 for the roughly 2,500 students on campus at the time.  Today, that total has swelled to over 8,000 students as SU.

"It's not adequate for the way students learn today.  It's not adequate in terms of technology, but also simply in terms of student space.  The need for collaborative space," said Beatriz Hardy SU's Dean of Libraries.

University officials are excited for what the building and the new library will bring to SU.

"This is the library of the future.  It will have an Internet cafe, a cyber café.  It will have a museum.  The Delmarva history museum will be located there.  The Nabb center.  It will be a hangout for our students," said Janet Dudley-Eshbach, Salisbury University's President.

And students said they cannot wait to take advantage of the new facility and services.  

"People want 24-hour space.  It's not big enough.  You get in there on a Wednesday night and you're not going to have the room to study.  This is a big opportunity for our students.  And I know we are really excited about it.  Not only to have another place to eat, but another place to study all night," said SU sophomore Jerrad Paware.

The 234,000-square-foot facility comes in at a total cost of just under $116 million.  The new building is scheduled to open in 2016.

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