Governor Deval Patrick today joined leaders from the University of Massachusetts Boston, Massasoit Community College (MCC), and Bridgewater State University (BSU), as well as state and local officials, to announce $21.5 million for the renovation of 226 Main Street to bring a new higher education campus to downtown Brockton.
This is the first stage of the Downtown Brockton Education Collaborative, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the commonwealth, the city of Brockton and the heads of three major learning institutions, and is the first step in bringing the learning center to downtown Brockton which will allow students to participate in programs from MCC, BSU and UMass Boston under one roof.
“By investing in education we are building stronger communities in Brockton and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “This unique campus will foster opportunity and growth by providing students with access to more educational programs to get them on a path to a brighter future.”
Funding for the downtown Brockton-centered learning community was included in Governor Patrick’s Fiscal Year 2015 - 2019 Capital Investment Plan, continuing the Governor’s commitment to providing more opportunities and access to quality education for students across the commonwealth and in gateway cities like Brockton.
“This collaboration is going to be a proud centerpiece of what Brockton has to offer,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We have to meet our students where they are and this campus will allow us to do that better than we ever have before in this part of Massachusetts.”
The commonwealth’s investment will enhance downtown Brockton through the renovation of the Main Street building creating nearly 250 construction and permanent educational jobs, attracting more people to the area, increasing foot traffic and providing affordable short-term training, certificate and degree programs for students.
“The concept of bringing three state universities together under one roof will not only create educational and training opportunities for the people of Brockton but will be a cornerstone of the revitalization of the downtown business district,” said Bill Carpenter, Mayor for the City of Brockton.
“The Downtown Brockton Higher Education Collaborative’s 226 Main Street Renovation project is the result of an innovative public/private partnership. This project will result in a shared services campus that adds to the many exciting revitalization efforts going on in downtown Brockton,” said Commissioner Carole Cornelison of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance.
The campus is expected to serve approximately 1,000 students, providing them access to resources from three major learning institutions in one place. Online education materials will allow for a seamless pathway to student success using effective and innovative learning technologies.
“This exciting partnership will provide new educational opportunities for local students and hopefully be a catalyst for the ongoing revitalization in the downtown Brockton area. For us, being co-located with Bridgewater State University and UMass Boston it will provide our students with new pathways to the bachelor's, master’s and, doctoral degrees,” said Massasoit Community College President Charles Wall.
“We are particularly proud that this first-ever collaboration between the three sectors of public higher education in the Commonwealth – Massasoit Community College, Bridgewater State University and the University of Massachusetts Boston – has resulted in the first permanently sited and shared satellite campus that’s being located here, in the historic heart of downtown Brockton,” said Bridgewater State University President Mohler-Faria.
“This project has the potential to be a national model for collaboration among and between institutions of higher education in service to the community,” said UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “We will work together to offer programming that will meet the needs of the citizens of Brockton and the region, and assist Mayor Bill Carpenter and the City of Champions in bringing additional vibrancy to downtown.”
The Patrick Administration has been committed to funding higher education for the past eight years, making sustained critical investments in education, innovation and infrastructure. Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, the Commonwealth has projects completed or under construction at every one of the states’ public campuses.
Today’s announcement furthers the continued commitment of the Patrick Administration to closing achievement gaps where they are most persistent such as in gateway cities like Brockton. The Governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda provides targeted and differentiated support to English Language Learners and better prepares high school students for career success. The agenda utilizes tools provided by the Achievement Gap Act, a sweeping education reform bill passed in 2010 that gives educators the resources they need to dramatically improve student outcomes.
Furthering his commitment to redeveloping gateway cities, Governor Patrick and his Administration are dedicated to major infrastructure investments across the commonwealth. In Brockton alone, the state has already invested $15 million to fund the redevelopment of an entire block in downtown near the commuter rail station. The Enterprise Block’s private developers have started on 55,000 square feet of new commercial space and the construction of 113 new housing units.