UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

25 Years and Beyond

Chan Krieger Sieniewicz asks us to imagine a campus without a two-floor substructure, and a clean view straight to the JFK library. (Click for a bigger image)

Upcoming WorkshopsMonday, 10/1/075:00-7:00pm, Quinn 3rd floor, Chancellor’s Conference Room

Friday, 10/5/072:00-4:00pm, Quinn 3rd floor, Chancellor’s Conference Room

Thursday, 10/11/07 2:00-4:00pm, Healey, 11th floor, Room BUnder the guise of the UMass Boston’s Master Plan, plenty of changes will be taking place on the campus over the next 10 to 25 years. The Master Plan is designed to be a tool for decision-making used to provide long-term, physical development ideas and also to provide a framework for coordinating work done on campus as well as identifying opportunities for growth in the future.

It has been discussed in a few workshops held on campus, and more are continuing to be held as to get student input on the direction of the university.

“It really is about reflecting and facilitating the strategic goals and priorities of the institution,” Sue Wolfson, Senior Analyst for the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, said. “We do that in a physical way so that we know we have certain priorities and academic goals that we want to achieve. [We want to know] how can the master plan help support those goals and priorities.”

The Master Plan has been divided into four phases. The first part took place from the fall of 2006 to this summer, and included gathering data about the school, analyzing the existing conditions, interviewing faculty and students, touring the campus and having the UMass Boston community participate in the process.

Right now, the Master Plan is in the second phases, which began this summer and has extended to the workshops. This phase involves alternative campus planning concepts, which are discussed in length during the workshops.

“At the beginning of the process, the steering committee established a vision to develop a physical blue print for UMass Boston that supports strategic priorities,” Wolfson said. “We want a physical environment that meets the needs of students, faculty and staff. We want to re-center and reorganize campus so that we can have a more vibrant and engaging university life. We want to build facilities on this environment that inspire and connect students, faculty and staff and also see to also to bolster our ties with our surrounding neighbors.”

The third phase of the Master Plan involves detailing the preferred concept site plan, refining it and presenting it to the UMass Board of Trustees, which is planned to happen this fall.

“Once we finish this process, the steering committee, in consort with campus leadership, will come up with what we’re calling the Preferred Concept Plan,” Wolfson said. “Once we go out and here what everybody has to say, we’ll make a determination for one campus plan. When we do that, we’ll go to the Board of Trustees, and we will brief them on our concept plan and we will hopefully get their support to go forward to develop what in phase four would be the detailed master plan.”

The final phase, set to begin in the winter of 2008, is where the committee will create a detailed Master Plan, and come up with design guidelines, schedules and costs of the construction that will be necessary to set the plan into action.

One big component of the designs is the addition of on-campus housing to UMass Boston. At the Sept. 24 and Sept. 27 meetings, many questions were raised about adding dorms, particularly in one of the design ideas where they were set in the center of the campus.

While some students and faculty who attended the meeting were concerned that the addition of dorms would ruin the “urban mission” of the campus, Wolfson, Sue O’Connor, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, and the architects from Chan Krieger Sieniewicz tried to assure those in attendance that the 2,000 beds that are planned will not detract away from the commuter campus life.

Wolfson and O’Connor encourage all students to come to the workshops to get involved and voice their opinions.

Facilities Improvement AnalysisWhy the Master Plan is important nowThe Master Plan Committee wants the input of the UMass Boston community on what they have planned for the next 5, 10 and 25 years, and beyond. What they are hoping the workshops will do is:? Bring faculty, students and staff, as well as neighbors and constituents together to discuss issues as they regard to the Master Plan? Look at the options for UMass Boston’s alternative campus concepts? To achieve having an open dialogue with several different groups to make the phases responsive and to have the plan process be effective? Educate people on what work has been done over the past several months by the committee? Update where they see the process going forward? Set stage for future work; as it is a very complex process, from planning and implementation, the Master Plan Committee want people to see what is involved and to buy into it, so as the committee moves forward that they feel they are going in the right direction? As part of the first phase of the Master Plan, an evaluation of the UMass Boston campus was necessary. It compared the cost of repairing and upgrading each building on campus to the projected cost of replacing the building. The final results found that the repair costs for individual buildings came close to, or exceed, the replacement cost of the buildings.

? Some of the buildings more cost effective to take down instead of remodel, which is a potential issue: “It’s a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity,” Sue Wolfson said. “It’s an opportunity to remake the campus […and] as we move forward and look to build new academic buildings, the other part of this pie is the substructure. […] We looked at how much it would cost to actually bring the garage and substructure back to its original function, and the number is staggering-it’s $190 million to restore it to what it was originally designed for. That didn’t make sense from a financial perspective, to put $190 million into a parking garage and […] leadership thought that that money could be better spent in other ways.”

Click any of the images to zoom inReinforce the Core

Expand the Hub

Improve Connections