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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

General Academic Building Anticipated Opening in Spring ‘16

As part of phase one of the 25-year master plan, the General Academic Building No. 1 is in its final stages of construction. According to Holly Sutherland, Master Plan and Construction Communications Manager, the exterior facade is almost complete, and construction is now in the stage of adding the dry walls and installing the mechanical system.

Therefore, it is likely that the first of the two completely new large academic buildings could be already holding classes in the spring semester 2016. The second, slightly smaller General Academic Building is planned to start construction only after construction of the first one is completed and will be located on the area of the former South Lot.

As the name already suggests, these two buildings will mainly be used for providing spaces for classes of different majors and colleges and in particular will include specialized classrooms which will enhance the teaching and learning experience at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

This General Academic Building No. 1 will include a number of studios and other spaces for the arts and performing arts, such as a large, 150-seat recital hall and a 150- to 200-seat theater. Furthermore, the building will include various chemistry teaching labs and necessary classrooms for the science departments. Another important feature of this new building will be the large 500-seat lecture hall, and four 150- to 200-seat discussion halls.

It will be connected, as are the other buildings on campus, by a catwalk to the Campus Center. However, like the Integrated Science Complex, it will be on the first (and not second) floor, because otherwise it would interfere with the spaces in the Campus Center, and the Cafeteria in particular. Furthermore, the new building will impress with a large atrium like the one at the Integrated Science Complex.

The second building, which will include interdisciplinary spaces as well, will provide areas for the nursing department, among others.

Both buildings will also include food and drink services, as well as seating areas for students.

A major goal of the master plan was to design and construct buildings that not only excel in sustainability but set an example for other universities’ buildings. Due to this, the project will seek to receive the LEED Silver certification, the “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” rating which is given to “green” buildings.

Apart from erecting completely new buildings, the planning also included the renovation of other areas of the campus, such as the McCormack building and Wheatley Hall, and the demolition of older architectures, such as the old Science building, in order to create new space to be used more effectively. This will include the creation of more walking paths and more bike-friendly spaces.