More Spectacular Changes on the Way
By Christine Dunlap
If you think UMass Lowell has changed in recent years, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Over the summer, more than 40 projects large and small will bring more stunning changes, including new buildings for learning and living, more and better dining options, increased parking and updated research and lab spaces.
New Buildings for Learning and Research
The two major new research and academic buildings — the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC) on North Campus and the Health and Social Sciences Building (HSSB) on South — are nearing completion.
Plans are under way for an Oct. 11 grand opening for ETIC, an $80 million state-of-the-art facility that will be a hub of industry partnerships and new manufacturing technologies with nanotechnology, plastics engineering, biomedicine and electro-optics labs. Check out the ETIC web cam view
of the project. The HSSB, a $40 million, 69,000-square-foot academic building — which will be home to criminal justice, nursing and psychology programs — is expected to open in spring 2013.
New Places for Students to Live
Two new residential halls are also under way. University Suites, on East Campus, broke ground in April and is set to open in the fall of 2013, providing housing for 472 students in four- and six-bed suites. Go to the University Suites page for a time-lapse video showing progress
on that facility. Riverview Suites, on South Campus, also broke ground in the spring. The all-suites facility, which will house 500 students, is also scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.
‘What’s for Dinner?’ Gets Better
Upgraded eating options start with an entirely reimagined dining facility on the second floor of Fox Hall. Once classes ended in May, the former facility was completely gutted. By the first day of classes in the fall, the new front entrance will open onto a large brick pizza oven and students will have seven cooking stations with different kinds of food to choose from.
The décor and furnishing will be fresh, contemporary and comfortable.
An after-hours room with fireplace, big-screen TV and comfortable seating will provide students a place in which to snack and socialize late into the night. Overall, seating will be increased from about 560 to 670, and restrooms have been added to the floor. What’s more, two corners are being fitted with large windows, bringing in bright light and striking views.
Meanwhile, an Einstein Brothers Bagels shop is being installed in the lobby of Olney Building on North Campus. It will be open for business in the fall, providing new coffee and snack options.
More Places to Park: Yay!
The North Campus parking garage, which will add 550 parking spaces to the North Campus inventory, will for the start of fall classes. See a web cam view of the garage
. A new garage on South Campus, located between Mahoney Hall and the Riverview Parking Lot, is also currently under construction. This will provide 600 new spaces when it is completed in the spring of 2013.
University Crossing: New Campus Hub
The transformation this summer of University Crossing, formerly St. Joseph’s Hospital, will include a complete interior renovation of the newer buildings at the rear of the site, the demolition of the older buildings at the front of the site and the construction of a new four-story campus center. Demolition will be completed by the fall and construction of the new building will be completed in 2014. Situated at the center of the UMass Lowell campus, University Crossing will serve as a hub of student activity with a large new bookstore, food court and event spaces. Several centralized services will also be located here for single-stop convenience, such as UCAPs, Parking and Transportation, Student Financial Services, Registrar, Police, IT and Environmental Health and Safety.
But Wait! There’s More!
The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell is also being enhanced with renovated luxury boxes and a new kitchen on the third floor to provide better quality food service. The Tsongas Center is also being treated to electrical efficiency upgrades.
Over on North Campus, Falmouth Hall is being outfitted with a new Engineering Lab.
The Weed lecture hall on South, meanwhile, will sport new tablet arm chairs and a handicapped lift among other improvements to make the room more user-friendly and attractive.
The Trustees’ Room on the second floor of Cumnock Hall on North will receive new furnishing to make the space more flexible for a wider variety of uses.
The campus will continue to become greener and more energy efficient over the summer as the North Power Plant continues to undergo a major renovation
, air conditioning and electrical improvements are being made at O’Leary on South, the third and fourth floors of UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center have been upgraded with new finishes, is fitted with a new energy management system and a host of other renovations and deferred maintenance projects spread around the campus include office, classroom and lab improvements.