What will we look like in 30 years?
Three major new buildings will rise on campus in the next several years: the New Laboratory Science Building under construction next to the Integrated Sciences Building, a new academic building north of the Campus Pond, and a home for Commonwealth Honors College on the east side of Commonwealth Avenue. But, says Dennis Swinford, director of campus planning, “We’re not just building buildings, we’re building a campus.”
To build a more attractive, logical, and sustainable campus, the administration is creating a master plan—the first in 20 years. Swinford came to UMass Amherst from Harvard University in September to lead the effort. His team will participate in planning for utility and transportation systems and will work with housing, student life, athletics, and auxiliary services to create a master plan and cultivate a culture of long-range planning for the physical campus in step with the administration’s long-range academic plans.
With 28 times the acreage of the Boston Common, more than four times the square footage of the Empire State Building, and a weekday population of more than 40,000, the UMass Amherst campus is “a little city that’s about learning,” says Swinford. “We’re striving to create a beautiful, workable place for this community of learners.”
Swinford wants to hear the visions of those who know the campus as a home and a workplace, from its footpaths to the top of its towers. “There are many aspects of the UMass Amherst campus we all enjoy, but there are many things we would like to see change,” he says. “The master plan and the process give us the opportunity to discuss what we like and do not want to change and what we do not like and would like to see change.”