Big Step in $750M UMass Remake
In a state where higher ed is a major economic engine, the UMass Boston campus sometimes has been overlooked. But work to upgrade the existing utility plant and excavate for seven underground utility vaults marks thestartof the $150M construction of theUtility Corridor and Roadway Relocation project. (We have an underground utility vault, too, but it's filled with snacks in case of anapocalypse.) Sasaki is working with lead engineer BVH. (Above, Sasaki principal Peter Hedlund flanked byIan Scherling and Mark Delaney). Construction will enable UMass to complete its $750M redevelopment,including: two new buildings, two renovations, shoreline stabilization, and construction of a harbor walk.
The aim is to transform the 70s-eracampus from inward-looking concrete buildings into a modern academic community that embraces itswaterfront site(perhaps add some surfing classes?), says Sasaki principal Isabel Zempel (above with colleague Radhika Mahan). The Sasaki team is using planning and landscape architecture to: connect the campus tothe harborwalk, create a more coherent campus with a layout and infrastructure that accommodates future development; and to create a linked system of open space.
The utilities that now run through the campus--andthrough a vacated parking garage--will be re-routed in aloop that will circle the campus. A new, more efficient Tri Gen power plant is planned to provide more energy. The underground garage will be removed and parking distributed around the property to free up the heart of campus for a new quad. (Reached for comment, the Ultimate Frisbee team was still sleeping, but we're sure they'd be thrilled.) This new road system will offer two-way vehicle traffic. The plan also calls for a system of linked open spaces with 300 new trees anda commencement lawn overlooking the water, Peter says.
The two-year UCRR project will also create a linden-lined walkway and parkland. One park feature is a bio retention pond (above right) that keeps water above ground to allow it to gradually infiltrate into the ground where the soil filters the water before it goes into the stormwater system. (Which means there's a chance you might be able to find that earring you lost.) Other current Sasaki campus projects include: a Bristol Community College Science and Technology building, Keene State College Campus master plan and a master plan for Regis College in Weston.