UMass Boston announced on July 19, 2006 that it would immediately—and permanently—close its deteriorating parking garage. Road salt combined with water seeping into the structure, which has room for 1,500 vehicles, had eroded the steel and concrete materials. Six hundred spaces had already been lost because of ongoing repairs and the re-routing of vehicle and pedestrian patterns. Repairing the garage to make it safe for parking would cost $150 million—an option the university decided not to pursue. The closing left more than 1,200 spots in outdoor lots and an indoor garage underneath the Campus Center.
The university began to develop a 25-year master plan to renew and redevelop the Columbia Point campus in October 2006.
On December 14, 2007, the university presented to the UMass Board of Trustees a 25-year master plan to renew and redevelop the Columbia Point campus, with construction and expansion of new academic facilities, better roadways, and the university’s first residence halls.
Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill to invest $2.2 billion over 10 years for new building or renovation projects at every one of the Commonwealth's 29 community and state colleges and at each of the University of Massachusetts's campuses. The bill provided $100 million in state support for the Integrated Sciences Complex, UMass Boston’s first new academic building since the campus was built in 1974. UMass Boston also identified additional financing sources to support the project.
On August 12, 2008, The Boston Globe reported that Senator Edward M. Kennedy had accelerated plans to build the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on the UMass Boston campus next to the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. Kennedy's advisors told the Globe that Kennedy wanted to house the center at UMass Boston because its students are mostly from working class backgrounds.
Then UMass President Jack Wilson was approached about the center, where the public, students, and faculty will be able to experience dramatic re-creations of significant moments in the U.S. Senate’s history, in fall 2003.
"This has its closest analogy in the presidential libraries, but those cover a four-to-eight-year period. This is a lot longer time period, and it's a completely different style of politics," he told the Globe.
“Teddy said there was no more perfect partner for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute than the University of Massachusetts Boston,” said Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late senator, during UMass Boston’s 2010 commencement address. “He loved this location – here on Columbia Point, next to his brother’s library, overlooking Dorchester Bay.”
The planning for the first stage of the 25-year master plan, the construction of the Integrated Sciences Complex, began in fall 2008. When it opens for classes in fall 2014, the ISC will be the first new academic building on the university's Columbia Point campus since it opened in 1974. The new six-story building will include wet and dry research laboratories and support space, undergraduate biology teaching labs, an infant cognition lab, and two new research centers—the Developmental Sciences Research Center and the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy.
The planning for General Academic Building No. 1 began in fall 2009. When it opens in mid-2015, GAB No. 1 will serve a large cross-representation of students, faculty, and staff with diverse programming, state-of-the-art general-purpose classrooms, specialized teaching and performance spaces, including a theater, recital hall, and dance studio, faculty and staff offices, a café, and student lounge and study spaces.
The university's 25-year master plan, published in December 2009, is the physical realization of the university's strategic vision: becoming a model student-centered, urban public research university of the 21st century. The recommendations of this bold and innovative master plan serve as a flexible blueprint and framework for a campus infrastructure and landscape that reflects UMass Boston’s highest academic ambitions, its urban mission, and its commitment to enhancing the student experience and improving connections with its neighbors. Phase One of the master plan (2008 through 2017) calls for more than $750 million in new facilities and infrastructure construction on the campus.
On May 19, 2010, the University of Massachusetts Boston, in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Building Authority, bought the 20-acre Bayside Exposition Center site at 200 Mt. Vernon Street in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. The waterfront property is 0.5 miles from campus. The Bayside property holds great potential for future redevelopment. In its current state, however, the property includes approximately 1,300 parking spaces and will provide additional space over the next several years as UMass Boston builds new campus facilities and renovates existing facilities. This construction is all part of UMass Boston’s 25-year master plan.
To support the implementation of its 25-year master plan, UMass Boston is working on plans to develop a new utility corridor and roadway network.
The Utility Corridor and Roadway Relocation (UCRR) project will include a new utility corridor to support future buildings and provide reliable and redundant utility services to the campus and a new roadway network that will provide various amenities including bike lanes, tree lawns, and sidewalks throughout the campus.
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate held a groundbreaking ceremony on April 8, 2011, attended by the late Senator’s family and a host of local state and national elected officials. The ceremony was held at the future site of the institute on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus, adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Chancellor J. Keith Motley spoke of the educational partnership between the institute and UMass Boston.
"We support wholeheartedly the goal of the institute to illuminate the great debates of the Senate’s past," Chancellor Motley said. "These moments in our history inspire our present, and inform tomorrow's leaders."
In the long term, UMass Boston will work with the City of Boston, the state, neighbors, and the surrounding communities to develop a plan that furthers the university’s mission, realizes the potential of the former Bayside Exposition Center site, stimulates economic activity, creates jobs, and brings greater activity and opportunity to Columbia Point and the region.
The university kicked off this planning process on May 7, 2011 with a public planning charrette. Read the report here. The university hosted another charrette on November 5, 2011. The final report is posted here.
On June 8, 2011, the University of Massachusetts Boston broke ground on the first new academic building since the campus was completed in 1974. The building, a $155 million, 220,000-square-foot Integrated Sciences Complex, is being built at the entrance of the Columbia Point campus and will house state-of-the-art research, teaching, and training laboratories. It is expected to open for classes in fall 2014.
“The Integrated Sciences Complex represents a significant step forward in our continued commitment to provide access to high-quality education for our students,” said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “This is the start of a planned renewal of our campus that will open the doors to opportunity even wider at UMass Boston.”
In spring 2012, UMass Boston began its HarborWalk Improvements and Shoreline Stabilization project, a Phase One element of the 25-year master plan. The 800-linear foot section of the HarborWalk is located on university property between the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and Old Harbor Park.
Goals for the project include:
Less than nine months after the official groundbreaking, University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley marked a milestone in the construction phase of the $155 million Integrated Sciences Complex (ISC) with a topping off ceremony. The topping off of a construction project is a ceremonial event marking the end of steel construction by putting into place a final, signed beam.
The six-story building is set to open in fall 2014 at the entrance of the Columbia Point campus and will house state-of-the-art research, teaching, and training laboratories.
“This building is going to be completed before we know it, so it’s great to have this opportunity to pause and recognize the effort of everyone involved,” said Chancellor Motley.
Governor Deval Patrick visited the University of Massachusetts Boston on October 3, 2012 to announce $100 million in funding for the construction of a new, cutting-edge academic building.
The governor’s 2013 Capital Plan includes $607 million in new bond funding set aside for projects across the UMass system. At UMass Boston, the money will finance the construction of General Academic Building No. 2. Design of the new building is expected to begin in 2014, with construction to follow in December 2014.
“[This afternoon’s announcement] is proof of your faith in our ability to give them the education they deserve, one that will help them serve our state–and all while being a pretty darn good bargain,” UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley told Governor Patrick.
The Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium has reopened after undergoing an eight-month renovation. The 3,000-person, fully accessible gym now boasts a new maple hardwood floor and upgraded bleachers, entryways, and specialty lighting and audiovisual systems.
University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley and state and local dignitaries broke ground on General Academic Building No. 1, a $113 million, 190,000-square-foot academic building aimed at supporting the university's growing student enrollment and course offerings.
When it opens in 2015, the four-story building will provide nearly 2,000 seats in state-of-the-art general purpose classrooms, faculty and staff offices, a café, a student lounge and study spaces, as well as space for three academic programs: art, chemistry, and performing arts.
The University of Massachusetts Boston celebrated a milestone in its ongoing campus development when Local 7 ironworkers raised the final steel beam for General Academic Building No. 1.
“The new building will allow our students to reach new heights of creativity, exploration, collaboration, and discovery,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley told a large crowd gathered for the "topping off" ceremony. “Next year, it’ll be the launching point for a lot of dreams.”
The four-story, 190,000-square-foot building is set to open in fall 2015. The $113 million GAB No. 1 will feature nearly 2,000 seats of general-purpose classrooms, along with teaching laboratories, art and performance studios, a theater, and a 150-seat recital hall.
The beam raising, originally scheduled to follow the April 30 ceremony, was postponed until May 2 due to rain.
The Integrated Sciences Complex is the first new academic building on the university's Columbia Point campus since it opened in 1974. The new six-story building includes wet and dry research laboratories and support space, undergraduate biology teaching labs, an infant cognition lab, and a new research center—the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. Classes start in spring 2015. An event called Celebrating the Commonwealth's Commitment to Investing in Higher Education is scheduled for October 23.
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a tribute to the late Massachusetts senator that is located on the UMass Boston campus, is designed to convey the history of United States Senate and its role in America's development and governance.
When it opens in mid-2016, General Academic Building No. 1 will serve a large cross-representation of students, faculty, and staff with diverse programming, state-of-the-art general-purpose classrooms, specialized teaching and performance spaces, including a theater, recital hall, and dance studio, faculty and staff offices, a café, and student lounge and study spaces.