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Mercyhurst University Academic Engagement Center
Engage. Enrich. Envision.

“More than a traditional classroom, the Academic Engagement Center is a building where knowledge and action meet.” - Dr. Thomas J. Gamble, Mercyhurst President

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Mercyhurst University
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Engage. Enrich. Envision.

These are the names of three separate but intertwined capital campaigns that are transforming the experience at Mercyhurst University. The $9 million Academic Engagement Center is an achievement of one of these campaigns. 


The four-story, 31,000-SF Center was envisioned as a hub of experiential learning, where students will produce intelligence estimates for decision-makers, oversee public opinion research, and manage conference and banquet facilities - Mercyhurst President, Dr. Thomas J. Gamble. 

Urban provided structural design services for the Center, which features classroom spaces and laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment to provide transparent, hands-on, collaborative learning opportunities for students. It hosts the internationally recognized Intelligent Studies and Hospitality Management Programs, as well as a pair of new initiatives that connect Mercyhurst with the wider community — the Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society and the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics.


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“The new facility offers hospitality management students the opportunity to practice with the newest technology in an atmosphere conducive to all methods of learning,” said Daryl Georger, Hospitality Management Chair and Assistant Professor. “In addition, the lab facilities foster a new sense of pride in both students and faculty.”


Urban used Revit, a Building Information Modeling program and RISA-3D, a structural engineering analysis and design program, to model, analyze, and design the steel framing and lateral force resisting systems for the Center. Unique features include four-story glass windows, a boardroom with a stepped floor and cathedral ceilings, a massive skywalk linking the fourth floor to the Hammermill Library, and a 160-seat banquet facility and outdoor colonnade.



  • BIM used for structural design
  • Impressive skywalk linking Center to library
  • Four-story glass windows