The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth), US, has broken ground on a $134m housing and dining complex for students.
The facilities, which will open for students in 2020, will create 150 construction jobs.
Being constructed in Parking Lot 7 near the university’s Campus Center and College of Visual and Performing Arts, the complex will include a $108m, 1,210-bed, 267,500ft² housing complex in two buildings and a $26m, 38,000ft² student dining commons with a capacity of 800.
In addition to the living areas, the facilities will include general academic classrooms, multimedia and study lounges, demonstration kitchens and recreation spaces.
The buildings will offer technology-equipped maker spaces for students to work on group projects, soundproof music practice spaces, and two computer learning commons. Two faculty-in-residence apartments will facilitate mentoring and advising.
The new housing will replace four residence halls that were inaugurated in 1976. The dining facility will be designed with a marketplace concept, which will include a large flat top grill.
The current main dining hall was built in 1977 for a residential student population of 1,600, but it now serves more than 3,000 students daily.
Along with the construction of the housing and dining complex, a $54m renovation of the Science and Engineering Building will also be taken up, supported by $25m in state funds.
These projects constitute the first phase of Chancellor Robert Johnson’s plan to focus capital investment on the 710-acre UMass Dartmouth main campus.
Under the first phase, the Claire T Carney Library was recently renovated, which was a major state-funded building project since 1980.
Academic buildings, the Campus Center, road infrastructure and athletic facilities will be renovated and modernised later.
The residence halls will be constructed through a public-private partnership between the university and collegiate housing developer and manager Greystar.
The construction will be led by Suffolk and the project is being financed through the UMass Building Authority and designed by DiMella Shaffer.
Image: UMass Dartmouth breaks ground on $134m student housing and dining complex. Photo: Courtesy of Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts.