Boston Business Journal
By Thomas Grillo
University of Massachusetts Lowell topped off a $95 million student center on Wednesday with the raising of a 34-foot-long steel beam bearing the signatures of 1,500 students, faculty and staff.
The 143,600-square-foot building, under construction as part of the University Crossing complex, is scheduled to open next year and will be home to a variety of student services open to the campus and the public, including the university’s bookstore, a food court, café, and event space.
Because the event was held when most students are away from campus for the summer, the university offered a “virtual beam-signing” that allowed all to participate in the tradition of signing the final beam, even if they could not attend. To make this possible, UMass Lowell developed an app to register the signatures, which were transferred to several large stickers that covered a portion of the beam.
Located at a central point between UMass Lowell’s North, South and East campuses and walking distance from the downtown, University Crossing is the site of an 86,600-square-foot building adjacent to the new center. That structure has undergone extensive renovations and by this fall, will be home to departments including University Police, student financial services, financial aid, parking, transportation, environmental management and the registrar’s office.
The new center is under construction on the former site of St. Joseph’s Hospital, which was largely unused in the years between the hospital’s 1992 relocation and the acquisition of the property in 2011 by the University of Massachusetts Building Authority.
Working with the university on the design and construction of the new center are Joslin, Lesser + Associates, Perkins + Will and Shawmut Construction.