Campus and City Celebrate as Final Beam for New Student Center Hoisted
UMass Lowell has celebrated a milestone in the construction of its new, $95 million student-engagement center with the raising of a 34-foot-long steel beam bearing the electronic 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 for the fall 2014 semester and will be home to a variety of student services and other amenities open to both the campus and the public, including the university’s flagship bookstore, a food court and café, an event space accommodating up to 500 people and meeting rooms.
“Today, we are marking an important step in the path to completion of University Crossing," said Chancellor Marty Meehan. "When the university acquired this site in 2011, we envisioned it as a vibrant hub uniting our three campuses and the community. I look forward to being back here next year to celebrate the opening of what will be a place for student and community engagement."
“This student center is designed to serve as the ‘living room’ of the UMass Lowell community," said Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Larry Siegel, adding that students have worked with the university to give input on the new building. "As the new home to our student clubs and organizations, it will be a place designed to foster student engagement, entrepreneurship and social activism, and to encourage service to others.”
Located at a central point between UMass Lowell’s North, South and East campuses and walking distance from the downtown business district, University Crossing is already 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 UMass Building Authority on behalf of UMass Lowell.