ABS Grand Opening

Wednesday, 07 September 2011, Buzzards Bay, MA – Massachusetts Maritime Academy hosted the grand opening ceremony for the state-of-the-art, $23,000,000, 42,000 square foot LEED Gold Certified American Bureau of Shipping InformationCommons.  This is the newest academic building on campus which will house not only the library but will integrate a rich program of study, training, and research spaces, in a cutting-edge building. 

ABS Information Commons

Distinguished guests in attendance included Robert Somerville, CEO of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Therese Murray, Senate President, Carole Cornelison, Commissioner, Division of Capital Assets Management (DCAM); RADM Gurnon, President, Massachusetts Maritime Academy; and Paul Kelly, Chairman of MMA Board of Trustees.

ABS distinguished guests

The American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons is not your typical library. The upper deck houses the Academic Resource Center; Learning Resource Center; and the Writing Resource Center including academic advising, multimedia smart classroom, study rooms, as well as a full mission ship’s 360° Bridge Simulator.  The Academy’s museum, archives, model ship collection, traditional library collections and library offices are housed on the first and second floors on the north side of the building with views of Buttermilk Bay. 

360 Ship Simulator

Not your ordinary library, the ABSIC is targeting LEED Gold Certification and offers extensive views of the campus, the Academy training ship, and the Cape Cod Canal.  The construction of the building used 100% recycled steel; 20% recycled concrete; and 40% recycled insulation.  The building is cooled and heated by a geothermal system along with chilled beam technology.  Additional light sensors and natural light are provided with skylights reducing the need for artificial lighting when enough natural light is present.  The building is furnished with water conserving fixtures and the landscaping uses no irrigation for the planted areas.  Water captured from the roof will irrigate plantings adjacent to the building.

View from ARC

For over 100 years, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, has been preparing women and men for careers on land and at sea.  As one of the nation’s six state maritime academies, Massachusetts Maritime Academy challenges students to succeed by balancing a unique regimental lifestyle with a typical four-year college academic course of study. 

In June 2008, Mr. Robert Somerville, Chairman and CEO of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), and the Directors of American Bureau of Shipping generously donated $3,060,000 in return for the library to be named, “The American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons.”  In accepting this generous donation, the Academy will merge the name of a company whose own values, accomplishments, and legacy mirror its own.

Download sustainability graphic