Northeast Exterior Perspective - Courtesy of Ryan Rendano
UMass Project Planners
January 2015 - January 2017
UMass Project Manager
Daniel O'Connell's Sons, Inc
Established in 1863, the University of Massachusetts Amherst retains a significant collection of buildings which date back to its first period as the Massachusetts Agricultural College. Early campus development focused on the construction of individual buildings to meet specific functional needs for the university. Located at the campus core near Goodell Hall and the Old Chapel, the original South College was completed in 1867. Designed by Severance of Boston, the building served as a male dormitory for 47 students in 23 double rooms, and also contained classrooms, reading rooms, and a natural history collection. South College was destroyed by an accidental fire in February of 1885, caused by the explosion of a kerosene burner in an egg incubator.
Soon thereafter, the state appropriated funds to rebuild South College on its original site and foundation. The replacement South College building was designed by Hartford, Connecticut based architect William Brocklesby. Construction began during the summer of 1885, and was completed for the 1886-1887 school year.
The new building’s Chateauesque style features a granite foundation, red brick exterior, and traditional asphalt shingle roof. Like its predecessor, the exterior reflected a multipurpose interior. The south wing housed 20 double rooms in three, vertical sections of student dormitories. The east wing became the Biology Department, with classrooms and a museum of specimens. The main tower held additional faculty and administrative offices, as well as a meteorological observatory.
South College, late 19th century - Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, W.E.B. DuBois Library.
By 1902, South College had become primarily an administrative building, with one classroom on the basement floor. Further interior and fireproofing renovations were completed in 1939. The architect for this work was Louis Warren Ross, who also designed the Neo-Georgian buildings of the campus’s Northeast Residential Area between 1935 and 1959. The student radio station, WMUA, along with several Deans, provosts, and presidents, have all held offices in the building.
From 2014-2017, South College underwent a major renovation, restoration, and addition project with DiMella Shaffer and Kliment Halsband Architects. Portions of the existing building were restored to their original materials. All mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were updated, including the installation of new life-safety alarms and sprinklers. The facility was also brought up to accessibility code in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
First Floor Flex Classroom
A four-story, 60,000 S.F. addition to South College was constructed on the west side of the building. Massing and materials were carefully selected to complement the original historic structure. The new extension is designed to facilitate accessibility to campus and through the building, with main entrances located on all four sides. The addition includes common areas, faculty offices, and classrooms with state-of-the-art audiovisual communications systems. A three-story, central atrium celebrates the intersection of the old and new. The $65 million project was financed by UMass through the University of Massachusetts Building Authority (UMBA).
Together, the renovation and addition house the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, including the Dean's office, HFA Advising, and departments of English, Philosophy, Art History, and Women, Gender & Sexual Studies. The project was completed in December 2016, and achieved LEED Gold Certification.
Southwest Exterior Perspective - Courtesy of Ryan Rendano
- Sitework strategy preserved historic legacy trees
- Drought-tolerant native plantings require minimal maintenance and no permanent irrigation methods
- Walkable to a library, hotel, restaurants, and other community services. Easy access to six campus bus stops and eleven PVTA bus lines
- Provided increased bike storage with shower and changing facilities onsite
- Campuswide parking policy with discounts for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles
- Water efficient landscaping and low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce potable water usage
ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE
- Aims to cut overall energy use by 30% through a high performance addition building envelope, thermally improved existing building, low-e insulated glazing, energy recovery ventilators with dual enthalpy economizers, and using hot and chilled water from the Central Utility Plant
- Projecting a 55% reduction in lighting power density via occupancy sensors, daylight dimming controls, and high-efficiency LED light fixtures
- Enhanced commissioning ensures that building systems perform as intended post-occupancy
- Metering and sub-metering of energy use monitors building performance over time
MATERIALS & RESOURCES
- Preserved and restored the original South College building
- Aiming to divert over 75% of construction wastes from landfill
- 10% of building materials contain recycled content and were extracted, processed, and manufactured regionally
- 50% of wood products are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified
INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL AIR QUALITY
- Developed and implemented an Indoor Air Quality Plan during construction and before occupancy
- Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, and flooring systems
- CO2 sensors ensure adequate fresh air is provided to densely-occupied interior spaces
- Thermal comfort survey will be administered to building occupants following project completion
INNOVATION IN DESIGN
- Green Housekeeping Program
- Active green building public education programs
Click each photo below for an enlarged view. All images courtesy of Ryan Rendano.
South College, present day
East Entry Common Area
First Floor Corridor
Third Floor West Study Commons
Northwest Exterior Perspective
East Exterior Perspective
Southeast Exterior Perspective
Expanded South College is Open for Learning
UMass Celebrates the Renovations of the South College Building
Newly Renovated South College Opens at UMass
Construction Overview - 11/27/2015
Construction Overview - 7/23/2015
Construction Overview - 5/28/2015
UMass Reopens One of its Oldest Buildings
Daily Hampshire Gazette - 4/17/2017
Ceremony Marks Renovation, Expansion of South College
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 4/13/2017
UMass Celebrates the Renovations of the South College Building
22 News - 4/13/2017
New Design Building, Renovations to Old Chapel and South College Completed
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 1/26/2017
New Buildings on Campus Reflect Changing Academic Styles
Amherst Wire - 11/1/2016
Construction, Renovation Projects Continue as Classes Resume
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 8/31/2016
Goodell Hall, South College Next to Undergo Renovations
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian - 9/9/2014
Saying Goodbye to "Old" South College
The College of Humanities and Fine Arts - 8/26/2014
University of Massachusetts Amherst South College
Kliment Halsband Architects
South College Academic Facility
The College of Humanities and Fine Arts
Web page design by Ryan Rendano.