preliminary planning principles
The University of Massachusetts Amherst was established under the Morrill Land Grant act as the Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863 on 310 acres with four buildings, four faculty and 56 students. Since that time, the University has experienced significant change. Today, UMass Amherst is the flagship of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system and the campus is growing. The campus supports a community of 30,000, with an enrollment of 20,000 under graduate and 5,000 graduate students. It occupies over 11.5 million gross square feet of buildings on 1,400 acres of land.
With significant enrollment growth after World War II came significant new facilities. Over 10million square feet of space was built within 20 years with a change in scale from rural to a more urban campus consisting of dense neighborhoods and towers. While this has limited the temptation for the campus to sprawl, it has created a campus character that is in contrast with the historic town of Amherst and the associated colleges. The challenges today are how to address the large number and size of these aging buildings, how to relate the scale of the campus to its surrounding communities, and determine which buildings should be retained.