Univesity of Southern Maine
portland commons

University of Southern Maine is set to build the first residence hall on its Portland campus

April 26, 2021
The 218,000-square-foot Portland Commons will accommodate 580 students in a sustainably designed facility.

University of Southern Maine is scheduled to break ground next month on its first residence hall for the Portland Campus

News Center Maine reports that the 218,000-square-foot Portland Commons will provide living space for 580 students in a sustainably designed, energy-efficient facility.

It will be built to passive house standards. That means it will energy-efficient, partly solar-powered, and will produce only half the carbon of a regular dorm. It will feature sustainable landscaping, recycling, and waste minimization.

The university says it envisions the residence hall as an aesthetically pleasing cornerstone to the gateway of the Portland campus.

The hall will have four wings--two reaching five stories in height and two reaching eight stories in height. They will form a parallelogram that encloses a half-acre semi-private residential courtyard.

The completed residence hall will highlight sustainable strategies within the building to educate students about all aspects of sustainability: environmental stewardship, social justice, and economic equity.

The university plans for Portland Commons to be home to undergraduate students in their second, third, or fourth year, as well as graduate and law school students.  First-year undergraduate students will continue to have residency options on Southern Maine's campus in Gorham, about 10 miles to the west.

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