LOWELL ߝ Chancellor William T. Hogan today announced a quarter-billion dollar proposal to renovate dozens of buildings on the UMass Lowell campus in order to meet the innovation challenge of the coming decades.
“We aim to capture for the region the jobs of the future by investing in sophisticated laboratories and other facilities,” said Hogan. “Our strength is conducting the research necessary to turn laboratory inventions into products. Our research in three fields -- biomanufacturing, nanomanufacturing and green chemistry -- is poised to be the best in the world. This plan ensures we have the state-of-the art facilities necessary to achieve that goal.”
The draft plan calls for construction of a new $80 million biotech and nanotech integrated research facility and a new parking garage for another $23 million. The remainder of the plan would completely modernize existing buildings, to maximize research efforts and retool laboratories, as well as provide a “safe, welcoming environment capable of full operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the entire year,” Hogan said. About $25 million would be spent on modernizing the teaching and research laboratories, Hogan’s “highest priority” for renovations.
The plan is believed to be the largest renovation project in the City of Lowell’s history, and Hogan expects it will enable the campus to increase student enrollment by about 20 percent.
To finance the plan, the campus intends to borrow $133.1 million and seek a dollar-for-dollar match from the Commonwealth, exclusive of all work on and expansion of the residence halls, which will be financed separately. Hogan has committed to pursuing part of the plan even if the state chooses not to match the borrowed amount.
The plan was released today to UMass Lowell’s faculty, staff and students for review. A series of “critical issues sessions” will be held during April to give members of the University community an opportunity to discuss details of the master plan. A public forum also will be held. The proposal will be presented in August to the UMass Board of Trustees for approval. The draft plan is available at https://www.uml.edu/Facilities/Planning/default.aspx.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell, a comprehensive university with special expertise in applied science and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students more than 80 degree programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management; the School of Health and Environment and the Graduate School of Education. Visit the website at www.uml.edu.
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