News: Featured Stories

December 10, 2014

Capital improvements transforming the five campuses

  • The UMass System
UMass' capital improvements transform the five campuses.

AMHERST – Major new facilities destined to transform the student experience at the University of Massachusetts are coming on line during the current academic year, President Robert L. Caret said today as the UMass Board of Trustees held its quarterly meeting at the flagship campus.

The capital improvements have included renovation and construction of student centers, dining halls, recreation facilities, lounges, libraries and classrooms.

``I am very proud of the work we’ve accomplished to modernize the facilities on our five campuses and improve student life,’’ President Caret said. ``With enrollment climbing so rapidly it is incumbent on us to provide facilities that are worthy of our status as a world-class institution and that help us attract and retain high-quality students.’’

The UMass campuses have been undergoing a major physical transformation in recent years, with expanded academic and student facilities to improve the student experience amid surging enrollment.

Over the last decade, enrollment at UMass has climbed by about 30 percent, from 56,587 students in 2004 to about 73,600 students projected for this year. Since the fall of 2007, the University of Massachusetts has invested $2.1 billion in dramatic infrastructure improvements on all five campuses.

UMass Lowell recently completed construction of a $95 million student center, University Crossing, the 10th building it has opened in five years. University Crossing connects the University’s three campuses and the downtown business and cultural district and is a hub for student activities and services. UMass Lowell also recently renovated the Fox Hall Dining Hall.

At UMass Amherst, this fall saw the completion of more than $148 million in construction including the new state-of-the art Integrative Learning Center classroom building, the Lincoln Campus Center dining renovations and major additions to McGuirk Alumni Stadium. 

On the Boston campus, the $179 million Integrated Sciences Complex is set to open in January, and the $130.5 million General Academic Building No. 1 is under construction. The student fitness center at UMass Dartmouth was expanded and renovated this year, a $5.1 million project, 90 new bike racks were installed and wireless connectivity was expanded across the 700-acre campus. Meanwhile, at UMass Medical School, the student lounge in the Basic Science Wing at UMass Medical School is undergoing $6 million in renovations and is expected to be completed in the spring.

``Within this year we have completed projects on campus that have added to the sense of community among the students,’’ said Sarah Freudson, a UMass Amherst student Trustee.

``The Board of Trustees bases every decision it makes on how it will affect student life,’’ said UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Henry M. Thomas III.  ``These projects reflect the Board’s commitment to taking actions that shape the student experience on our campuses in positive ways.’’

Today, the Trustees approved a new five-year capital plan, spanning Fiscal Years 2015 to 2019. It consists of 108 projects on the five campuses, totaling nearly $3.4 billion.  The number of projects that will actually go forward during this period will be determined by the availability of funding.



Contact: Ann Scales, 617-287-4084