UMass Dartmouth awarded $30M to modernize key learning facility for undergraduates

The exterior of the UMass Dartmouth Liberal Arts Building (LARTS)
The Liberal Arts Building, better known as LARTS, houses some of the largest programs in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields as well as several student support centers

On April 13, 2022, UMass Dartmouth announced $30M in funding from the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), an agency within the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance, to update one of the campus's main academic facilities. The Liberal Arts Building, better known as LARTS, houses some of the largest programs in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields as well as several student support centers. The funding will provide upgrades to the building's existing HVAC system to add mechanical cooling to improve the learning environment and energy efficiency.
“This funding will support the modernization of a vital building on campus that serves all UMass Dartmouth students and enables them to contribute to the region’s economic, cultural, and educational success,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our Administration is proud to make these investments and support UMass Dartmouth’s continued work to train the next generation of leaders.” 
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support of public higher education and UMass Dartmouth,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Mark A. Fuller. “In particular, this funding will impact every first-year UMassD student as they take their foundational courses in an upgraded facility that supports student learning. We are ranked second in the state and #59 nationally for social mobility, with nearly half of our students the first in their families to get a college degree. This investment will make a major difference in the lives of our students and educational attainment in our region.” 
LARTS is the oldest academic building on campus and the most heavily trafficked building by students, faculty, and staff. The building serves all undergraduate students and is home to classrooms, faculty offices, and student-facing services.
"I applaud the Baker-Polito Administration for making this substantial capital investment in my alma mater, UMass Dartmouth, to modernize and update aging campus assets for future generations to come," said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means (D-Westport). "With these investments, we are taking long-needed steps to ensure that students on our higher education campuses can continue to learn in modern, technologically relevant spaces, especially as students return to primarily in-person learning post-COVID." 
“UMass Dartmouth is integral to the success of local young people who deserve the best facilities to learn, grow and achieve,” said State Senator Mark Montigny, a UMass Dartmouth alumnus and leader in the Senate for capital funding for the campus. “Today’s announcement highlights the commitment of the Commonwealth to UMass Dartmouth, and I am proud to support and help usher further investment into the campus.” 
“We are excited that the Governor has made a commitment to improving the UMASS Dartmouth campus through this huge investment,” said State Representative Chris Markey. “The improvements are much needed and will make our university a better place for our students.” 
The building houses the majority of classes for the University's largest college, the College of Arts & Sciences. The enhancements will replace HVAC systems nearing the end of their lifecycles and provide significant ADA upgrades. In addition, the University will be replacing the roof of the LARTS building to coincide with the mechanical updates.
“We are thrilled to be able to upgrade our academic buildings so that they match the high-quality educational work being done within their walls,” said UMass Dartmouth Interim Provost Ramprasad Balasubramanian. “This will serve our faculty and students well for many years to come.” 
“LARTS is a traditional hub for students from across campus to meet, collaborate, and explore their academic interests,” said Dean of the UMass Dartmouth College of Arts & Sciences, Pauline Entin. “On behalf of the entire College of Arts & Sciences, we are very thankful and excited to continue our mission in an upgraded space.”