The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Student Union Renovation

The Student Union

Built as the first dedicated facility on campus for student activities and organizations, the Student Union is a center of student life, adjacent to the W.E.B. Du Bois Library and the Campus Center.

At the time of its original completion in 1957, the Student Union was the largest structure on campus and marked a milestone for the growing University of Massachusetts.  Originally designed by UMass alumnus Louis Warren Ross, one of the most prolific architects on campus, the Student Union was designed in a modernist style, featuring common areas, offices, and a large ballroom.

Renovation & Addition

In 2016, the SGA began exploring options to renovate the Student Union.  In December 2017, the SGA ran a student referendum on providing funding for a comprehensive renovation of the facility using a portion of the Student Activities Fee, which passed.

Work began on the project in early 2019, after a robust student-centered design process with architects Shepley Bulfinch.  The $62 million renovation is a full revitalization of the Union, featuring:

  • An active "Main Street" style promenade connecting Metawampe Lawn with the southern end of Ellis Way, lined with expanded student business space, services, and social space
  • A brand-new ballroom and "black box" theater
  • Dedicated space for agencies, including a media center for the Daily Collegian, UVC-TV19 and WMUA
  • Ample rotating flex space for RSOs, including variably sized meeting rooms that are easy to book, along with dedicated storage lockers
  • Updated mechanical, electrical, fire, and structural systems to meet modern code and ADA accessibility standards
  • LEED Silver certification anticipated

We can't wait to welcome you back into this incredible new space sometime soon.  We've put together a series of before/after photos that illustrate how this project redoubles our commitment to RSOs and the student body at large.

East Elevation

Metawampe Lawn

West Entrance

Concept Images

(courtesy of Shepley Bulfinch)

Archival Photos

SGA Updates

Looking for more info?

For more info on the Student Union renovation, check out the dedicated sites at Campus Planning and Design & Construction Management.

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