UMass Amherst’s project to house 1,000 undergraduates

UMass Amherst project to transform parking lots into housing


(Collegian file photo)

By Clinton Nguyen, Collegian Correspondent

Following an increase in the number of undergraduate students, the University of Massachusetts is considering plans to potentially build housing for 1,000 undergraduate students.

Currently, the projected site is a series of parking lots that lay south of Massachusetts Avenue. According to Tony Maroulis, executive director of external relations and University events, this construction would move toward a town goal of dissipating the borders that separate the town from the UMass community, a proposal that may cause some discontent.

The University is also considering plans to replace the North Village Apartments at 990 North Pleasant St., according to MassLive.

“The housing may seem good in terms of connecting with the residents at Amherst. However, I believe the Amherst residents have a different reaction to this,” said Sonny Mei, a freshman mechanical engineering major. “They may feel like their home is being shrunken.”

Others gave insight into how this may impact their future standing as students.

With the recent announcement of future construction projects across the UMass campus, Ashley Nguyen, a freshman natural sciences major, said she was further concerned with the jeopardization of her tuition.

“I fear that this project may reflect in additional charges for my tuition,” Nguyen said.

The project also includes having potential retail spaces, according to Maroulis.

“As for the retail aspect, I would find it beneficial for UMass to bring in some mainstream stores,” said Aleisha Prentice, a freshman in the Isenberg School of Management. “This would be a win for both students and the campus.

The cost of these proposals has not been specified and the University clarified that estimates will likely not be out until January. Any official proposals would not be received back until 2020.

Clinton Nguyen can be reached at [email protected]