The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has broken ground on a $134 million housing and dining complex that the university hopes will transform the student living and learning experience on campus.
The facilities are scheduled to open when students arrive for classes in fall 2020.
Included in the complex:
•A $108 million, 1,210-bed, 267,500-square-foot housing complex in two buildings. In addition to living areas, the facilities will have academic classrooms, multimedia and study lounges, demonstration kitchens, and recreation spaces. The buildings also will have technology-equipped maker spaces where students can work on group projects; soundproof music practice spaces; and two computer learning commons. The new housing will replace four residence halls that opened in 1976.
•A $26 million, 38,000-square-foot dining commons with a capacity of 800 students. The facility will have a marketplace concept that will expand food options. The university’s existing main dining hall was built in 1977 for a residential student population of 1,600, but now serves more than 3,000 students daily.
While the complex is being built, work also will begin on a $54 million renovation of the Science and Engineering Building.
These projects represent the first phase of a plan to focus capital investment on the 710-acre UMass Dartmouth main campus, which has seen just one major state-funded building project – the Claire T. Carney Library renovation – since 1980.
“Our students and our region will benefit from these investments in quality living and learning facilities that will prepare them to succeed in a rapidly changing, highly competitive global economy,” says UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson.
The residence halls will be built through a public-private partnership between the university and Greystar, a collegiate housing developer and manager. The partnership will enable the university to acquire new housing without using state taxpayer funds.
The architect is DiMella Shaffer, and the builder is Suffolk.