Jan. 9, 2008
In sharp exchanges with some local neighborhood activists, UMass Boston officials defended their plans to build dorms to house some 1,000 on-campus beds in the next ten years as part of the school's overhaul.
"We are a commuter school. We are going to continue to be a commuter school," Ellen O'Connor, the campus's vice chancellor for administration and finance, said to roughly 40 people assembled at Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association's Monday night meeting at the Little House. Read more
Two new academic buildings, including a gleaming, state-of-the-art science facility (minus dangerous infectious diseases). Two new parking garages to replace the crumbling substructure holding up the plaza and campus. A glass façade and new entrance to the Healey Library.
And, of course, dorms.
UMass-Boston's final conceptual plan, presented to UMass trustees on the last day of fall semester classes earlier this month, calls for 1,000 beds in the first phase, while reaching at least 2,000 beds by the end of the 25-year plan. Read more
Taking a measured tone, the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association, which voted to oppose dorms at UMass-Boston over four years ago, is planning to meet with UMass officials as the university community considers reconfiguring its campus.
Members of the neighborhood association this week took a pass on taking a vote reaffirming the association's opposition to the prospect of dorms, which are included in each of the three conceptual plans Read more
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, whose criticism all but finished UMass-Boston's first campaign to build dorms on Columbia Point four years ago, is now saying he's open to the prospect.
"It's not a non-starter for me," he said this week at a separate Boston Redevelopment Authority event.
With students departing for on-campus housing, affordable housing in the neighborhoods would be freed up, he said. Read more
A passel of large development projects on and around Columbia Point has the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Mayor Thomas Menino itching to create a "comprehensive vision" for the Dorchester peninsula.
"There are so many exciting developments in this vibrant neighborhood and a comprehensive master plan will help the city ensure these changes are balanced with community input an eye for long term sustainability and matched with appropriate infrastructure," said City Councillor Maureen Feeney in a prepared statement. Read more
He is "still in a discovery mode" when it comes to the campus strategic plan for the future, UMass-Boston's Keith Motley said, and that includes dorms.
Appointed as UMass-Boston's chancellor in June, Motley takes over the campus as Boston's only public university seeks to compete with its private counterparts, raising enrollment to 15,000 from 12,000 over the next few years.
The campus is also struggling with an estimated $600 million in deferred maintenance costs, along with a two-level substructure that had previously served as a parking garage. Read more
In the first big hire of his new administration, UMass-Boston Chancellor Keith Motley tapped a twelve-year campus veteran this week for his chief of staff.
Christopher Hogan, who lives in Lynn with his wife and three children, has served as the university's associate vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and special projects and programs since 2005.
He also served as the chancellor's special assistant when Motley had the job on the interim and as assistant vice chancellor of student affairs when Motley headed the division under then-Chancellor Jo Ann Gora. Read more
Jul. 25, 2007
At first glance, the new GoKids Boston space at UMass-Boston looks like any other fitness facility. It's equipped with all the things one would expect to find in a gym; there's stationary bikes and Nautilus equipment. But set beyond the weights and cardio machines is the Sportwall, a floor-to-ceiling display of flashing yellow lights that allows children to compete in a wide variety of team and one-on-one games involving running and throwing. Read more
Corcoran Jennison Companies hosted the first public meeting for residents last week to discuss plans to redevelop nearly 30 acres of land on Columbia Point into a mixed-use retail and residential project that could represent a $1 billion investment.
The site is currently home to the Bayside Expo Center, a conference facility whose business has been impacted drastically since last summer, when a change in state law allowed the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston to host the regional trade shows that provided Bayside with its most lucrative clients. Read more
A new mix of residential, commercial and open space would replace the box-shaped confines of Bayside Expo Center under a conceptual plan discussed today by executives from Corcoran Jennison Companies, owners of the waterfront land in Columbia Point.
Corcoran Jennison Companies has unveiled a concept to completely redevelop 21.5 acres of property on Columbia Point as a mixed use residential and retail destination at a cost that could approach $1 billion. Read more