$3.8 billion capital plan proposed for UMass campuses

By Collegian News Staff

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Maria Uminski/Daily Collegian

A Board of Trustees made a preliminary approval for a capital plan of $3.8 billion for ongoing construction and renovations at the five University of Massachusetts campuses on Wednesday.

“Over the past decade, more than $2 billion has been invested in academic, research, student housing and student life buildings across the UMass system, and the creation of these important new facilities has helped to fuel our enrollment and reputational surges,” UMass President Robert Caret said in a press release.

The capital plan, which includes 184 UMass projects, will be reviewed by the full Board of Trustees on Sept. 18. The plan has four components, including student life and housing, teaching and learning, basic infrastructure and research.

The plan would be implemented from the fiscal year 2014 to the fiscal year 2018, and would build on the $2.4 billion that have been invested in construction at the five campuses over the past 10 years.

“These facilities are critical to our ability to attract and retain outstanding students and faculty and will assist in keeping Massachusetts competitive in the global economy,” Henry M. Thomas III, chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, said in the release.

The plan, which has 27 new projects, estimates that UMass will pay for 72 percent of the funds and the state will pay for the rest.

“We are very appreciative of the support we have received from Governor (Deval) Patrick and the Legislature and also thank the UMass Building Authority for making a critical contribution to the University and the Commonwealth,’’ said Trustee Victor Woolridge of Springfield, who chairs the Administration and Finance Committee said in the release.

Some of the proposed projects include $12.6 million to repair Machmer Hall at the flagship campus, $12.5 million for renovations to Healey Library at UMass Boston, $11.4 million for the purchase of the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River at UMass Dartmouth, $10 million for improvements to campus athletics and recreation facilities at UMass Lowell and $15.5 million to upgrade research and lab facilities at UMass Medical School.

Some projects that were already completed include the $13.7 million renovation of Goessmann Laboratory at UMass Amherst, the $46 million expansion and renovation of the Claire T. Carney Library at UMass Dartmouth and the $350 million Albert L. Sherman Center at UMass Medical School in Worcester, according to the press release.

-Collegian News Staff