UMass Dartmouth will break ground on a $134 million housing and dining project on Friday, November 30 at 2 p.m. at the UMass Dartmouth main campus, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747. The event will take place in Lot 7 where there will be ample parking for guests and media.
Speakers will include UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson, UMass President Marty Meehan, student leaders, and project managers.
The project, which will create hundreds of construction jobs, will include a $108 million, 1,210-bed, 267,500 square foot housing development that responds to student demand for modern residential facilities that promote student engagement. The complex will include general academic classrooms, a mixture of multimedia and study lounges, wireless internet, two large student lounges with demonstration kitchens, multimedia equipment, and recreation space. The north portion will have maker spaces to encourage collaborative student projects, while the south section will have music practice rooms and two computer learning commons. The new housing will replace four residence halls that opened in 1976. Two faculty-in-residence apartments will foster mentoring and advising.
The housing complex will be co-located with a $26 million, 38,000 square foot student dining commons with a capacity of 800. The current main dining hall was built in 1977 for a residential student population of 1,600 but now serves 3,200 students.
The residence halls will be built through a public-private partnership between UMass Dartmouth and Greystar, one of the largest and most experienced collegiate housing developers and managers in the country. The partnership will allow the building of new housing without any state taxpayer funds and does not add to the debt burden for the university.
The construction of the housing and dining facilities will be led by Suffolk, which has built nine residential facilities on campus, including the 800-bed Pine Dale and Oak Glen halls, which opened in 2003, and the 1,200-bed Woodland apartment complex, which opened in 2005.