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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB Begins Multi-Million Dollar Makeover

As part of UMass Boston’s 25-year Master Plan, a $100 million state of the art sciences complex is set to begin. The Higher Education Bond Bill, which was signed by Governor Deval Patrick last month, allows UMB $125 million in new funding to begin building new, and renovating existing, facilities on campus.

Of the $125 million, $100 million will go to funding the construction of the new academic building, and the remaining $25 million will go to improving and repairing the existing campus substructure. UMB Chancellor J. Keith Motley could barely contain his excitement during the official funding announcement last month.

“This is great news for both our students and our faculty,” Motley said. “In just a few years we will have a new science center that will be second to none, providing the facilities and environment to enhance learning and advance research. It’s good to see our planning begin to take shape.”

Boston architectural firm Goody Clancy has been chosen to construct a preliminary design of the new science building, a process that could last as long as two years. Expected to be situated adjacent to the Campus Center, where the North Parking Lot now stands, the Integrated Sciences Complex will provide interdisciplinary lab, research, and classroom space.

UMB Provost Winston Langley said he thinks the new building is long overdue.

“We have not offered students of the commonwealth of Massachusetts opportunities because of lack of first class facilities for scientific inquiry,” Langley said. “The new building will provide some of what we need to strengthen the college of math and science.”

UMB’s 25-year master plan calls for a phased approach to rebuilding and enhancing the aging campus. Initial plans include reconfiguring the campus roadways, relocating utilities, and adding more structured parking, in addition to the current lots.

The most anticipated plans of the initial phase concern the addition of 1,000 beds for housing on-campus. In the second phase, set to last 15 years beginning in 2010, additional parking, academic and athletic facilities, and another 1,000 beds are proposed for the campus.

The new Integrated Sciences Complex is the first of two facilities to be built on campus in the coming years. The second building will also be an academic building.