Steel work for School for Marine Science & Technology expansion project near completion

Steel beam makes it way to UMass Dartmouth quad in celebration of new building construction milestone

The final steel beam of UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) expansion project on Clark’s Cove in New Bedford will soon crown the 64,115-square-foot structure.

In celebration of this construction milestone, Bond Brothers, construction managers for the project, delivered an 18-foot-long, white steel beam to the existing SMAST campus in New Bedford on Thursday where a host of students, faculty, staff, and SMAST partners penned their signatures and sentiments. Friday morning, the beam made its way to the UMass Dartmouth quad where members of the community were also invited to inscribe it.

Historically, beam signing has served as a prelude to “topping off” ceremonies, which are part of the construction industry’s tradition to celebrate the crowning of a building structure with the final beam. The event symbolizes the completion of a major phase during the construction process.

The SMAST Expansion Groundbreaking was held October 23, 2015. The expansion took a major step forward on March 14, 2016 when demolition of the former Naval Reserve Center on Rodney French Boulevard in New Bedford began. Next week marks the completion of the steel work portion of the building, which is scheduled to open fall 2017. A public celebration of this accomplishment is being planned for September.

The $55 million expansion is a collaboration with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). The three-tier building will bring more than 150 faculty, students, and staff of SMAST and DMF together to engage in education, research and policy related to commercial fishing, coastal preservation, ocean observation, and climate change.

The work is being performed in compliance with the U.S. Green Build Council’s Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) requirements and procedures to obtain a minimum LEED Silver rating, satisfy requirements of Massachusetts Executive Order 484, and meet the intentions of UMass Dartmouth’s Climate Action Plan.

To learn more about the expansion project, including ways to become involved, visit Support SMAST.


School for Marine Science and Technology