UMass Officials to Break Ground for New $186.5 Million Commonwealth Honors College Complex

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

DATE: Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011

TIME: 10:30 a.m.

PLACE: Tobin Hall Concourse, UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert C. Holub, university officials and students will take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the $186.5 million Commonwealth Honors College complex now under construction on Commonwealth Avenue. The event is part of Homecoming Weekend festivities at the state’s flagship campus.

Other officials scheduled to attend are UMass President Robert L. Caret; UMass Trustee Richard P. Campbell; alumnus Paul J. Carney, a member of the UMass Building Authority, which is funding the project; James V. Staros, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; Priscilla Clarkson, dean of Commonwealth Honors College; Alexander Nemtzow, a senior in Commonwealth Honors College, and alumnus Melvin Howard, a board member for the honors college.

Site preparation work for the project began in June. The 512,000 square-foot complex is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013, providing the honors college with nine classrooms, administrative offices, a 300-seat conference center, a caf?? and about 1,500 beds for students enrolled in the honors program. Student housing will include a traditional residence hall for first-year students and apartment or suite-style living for other honors students.

Reflecting the campus’s commitment to sustainability, the complex is designed to meet LEED gold certification requirements.

The project is being funded through the UMass Building Authority. The complex was designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. of Boston. The general manager of the project is Dimeo Construction, Inc., headquartered in Providence.