Second New Academic Building Takes Shape
November 28, 2011
As the New Year approaches, visitors to the campus will begin to see the steel framework of the Integrated Sciences Complex (ISC) take shape, rising above the decorative fencing at the university’s main entrance. But even as contractors push forward on the construction of the ISC – the first academic building on the UMass Boston campus in nearly forty years – campus planners are formulating the design for a second academic building, this one containing primarily state-of-the-art classroom facilities.
The second academic building to be constructed as part of the university’s 25-year master plan, known as General Academic Building No.1 (GAB No.1), has moved from concept to drawing board as university planners have completed space programming for the building and are now moving forward with schematic design.
“We’ve achieved a significant milestone in the planning for our second academic building,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley says. “This general academic building will bring to our campus a host of new and interactive classrooms that will help further enhance the learning experience of our students.”
To meet the university’s academic needs and promote interactive teaching, GAB No. 1 will feature 27 general-use classrooms (18 classrooms seating 50 or fewer students), ranging from small seminar rooms to larger lecture halls and numerous specialized instructional spaces in three academic departments, including Department of Art studios, Department of Chemistry teaching labs, and Department of Performing Arts spaces, with a 150- to 200-seat theater, a recital hall, and dance studio.
The building will also house faculty and staff offices, a café, a student lounge, and study spaces. All spaces will have state-of-the-art amenities, including contemporary lighting, furnishings, and technology.
“Energized by programs and activities that will serve all university students, this lively classroom building will be a leap forward for our teaching and learning environment,” says Peter Langer, associate provost, who explains that a strong and inclusive process, including academic leadership, faculty, staff, and students, has been used in planning and designing the new academic facility.
Funded by the UMass Building Authority, the project is estimated to cost $100 million.
The estimated 171,000-square-foot building will be located on what is now the North Parking Lot. Although the campus originally planned to build GAB No. 1 (master plan Site B) on what is now the Beacons Parking Lot (master plan site O, additional analysis of the site determined the location infeasible, in part because of the logistics of the eventual demolition of the plaza, substructure, and Science Center.
Because the new building will be located on the North Lot, as part of construction planning, university officials are planning campus-wide transportation focus groups, meetings with established groups on campus, and other open meetings to discuss and get feedback on transportation and parking changes that will be required to accommodate construction of the new campus facilities through the master plan.
For more information on the General Academic Building No. 1, visit the master plan website.