A new $85 million physical sciences building for the campus is among the projects funded through a $607 million bond package for the UMass system announced this week by Gov. Deval Patrick.
The new facility, which will serve the Physics and Chemistry departments, was included in the five-year capital plan recently approved by the Board of Trustees. The funding is part of a $2.2 billion higher education bond bill approved in 2008.
Patrick made the announcement at UMass Boston as President Robert L. Caret and other university leaders marked the system’s 150th anniversary. The governor said the new bond funding will advance high-quality instructional and research facility projects throughout the UMass system so that Massachusetts can compete in a 21st century knowledge-based economy.
"Providing access to quality, affordable higher education is about giving all of our students the opportunity to succeed,” said Patrick. “Education is Massachusetts’ calling card around the world and central to our competitiveness in the global economy. We invest in education because we believe that it is the single most important investment government can make in our collective future.”
"Investments like the ones the governor is announcing today give us our edge and help us expand economic opportunity throughout the state and to the next generation of leaders," said Caret.
A study to determine what types of classrooms, laboratories and support space are needed in the new building has begun. Once the study is completed, the design phase will begin. While no site has yet been selected for the building, it will likely be located on the north side of campus, near many existing science facilities. Construction is estimated to be 4-5 years away.
In a related announcement by Patrick, the campus has been awarded a $112,501.33 Performance Incentive Fund (PIF) grant through the Department of Higher Education to expand the Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program.
The $2.5 million in PIF grants support new and existing programs at campuses to improve college readiness and attendance of high school graduates, as well as college graduation and student success rates. Grants will also be used to expand programs linked to the state's future workforce needs by preparing students for jobs in high-demand fields.