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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Construction of Dorms Moves Forward

Over the summer, academic and social activities on campus have decreased or ceased at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Only a small minority of students are attending classes during the long break between semesters. The construction efforts, however, have been at an all-time high over the past few months.

During the summer months, both minor and major construction projects have begun and some will continue throughout the upcoming academic year.

However, there were also some projects that were completed over the summer, such as the repairs or overhaul of the elevators in some buildings.

Apart from these rather small projects, the most noticeable step forward towards a new campus was the “topping off” of the future residence hall, located on Mount Vernon Street. In a ceremony on August 3, the last beam was brought into position on the construction site.

The celebration of positioning the last steel beam is a long-standing tradition common among ironworkers. It indicates that although the construction site is not yet complete, the building complex has reached its maximum planned height. Furthermore, as it is also a part of this tradition in the steel industry, UMass Boston offered all members of the campus community to sign the beam either in person or virtually through a dedicated website. An evergreen shrub was placed upon the beam for good luck before positioning it on the highest point of the building.

According to current estimations, the building–eight months into construction–is set to be completed and opened for UMass Boston’s students community during the fall 2018 semester. In total, this new 260,000-square-foot dorm complex will provide space for around 1,077 incoming first-year students.

The accepted freshmen will be able to choose from rooms ranging from single occupancy to shared units for two, three, or four people. Apart from the sleeping spaces, the residence hall building will also offer social and academic spaces such as student lounges and study areas. It will also feature a 23,000-square-foot dining hall, Meals will be offered for both resident and non-resident students, faculty, and staff.

Once the first students move into the residence hall, the building itself will be leased, managed, and maintained by a non-profit third party. However, the supervision of and the support for the freshmen will be left to the University’s staff.

The construction project is managed by Capstone Development Partner, a company that specifically focuses their work on building student residence halls and includes sustainable design in their projects. They are also in association with Elkus Manfredi Architects and Shawmut Construction.

Overall, the dormitory will be the third newly constructed complex that is part of UMass Boston’s 25 Year Campus Master Plan. In 2015, the Integrated Science Complex (ISC) was opened to the public, and in the spring of 2016, another academic building, University Hall, opened its doors.