For Immediate Release - April 22, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Celebrates Campus Improvement Groundbreaking at UMass Lowell

Governor's $2 billion bond bill helps accommodate expansion of the State's public campuses

LOWELL - Advancing the Patrick-Murray Administration's efforts to ensure students have access to world class public higher education, officials today celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Health and Social Sciences Building at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The project will improve infrastructure and facilities for students and staff.

"The Patrick-Murray Administration remains firmly committed to providing the support our public campuses need to provide an excellent education for all students," said Secretary Education Secretary Paul Reville. "This new project at UMass Lowell will ensure that our highly motivated students, talented faculty, and top notch staff have access to the facilities they need to be successful."

The $40 million new Health and Social Sciences Building at UMass Lowell will house three of the University's most popular majors - Criminal Justice, Nursing and Psychology. The 69,000 square foot building will also provide academic space to help accommodate a 30 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment over the last few years.

"Today we celebrate another milestone in the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to building world class public higher education facilities," said Carole Cornelison, Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management. "For the University of Massachusetts Lowell, it means building the first new academic building constructed from the ground up on the south campus since the 1970's to meet growing student demand."

The construction project is supported by Governor Deval Patrick's historic Higher Education Bond Bill, which he signed in 2008. The bill committed $2 billion in state support for campus upgrades and new construction to substantially increase access to cutting edge technology to support teaching and learning across the state's system of 29 public campuses.

The Commonwealth has delivered on over half of the $2 billion bond bill with many projects completed and many more committed across the state.

In Greenfield, officials today also celebrated the grand opening ceremony for the renovated and expanded Core of Greenfield Community College's main campus building. The $31 million project upgraded the building to ensure it is fully accessible and dramatically improves the teaching and learning environment for students.

"To have two of our campuses breaking ground on major building projects in the course of a single day is tremendously exciting," said Richard M. Freeland, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education. "It speaks directly to the commitment of Governor Patrick and his administration to invest in our libraries, science facilities and dormitories - modern, clean spaces that invite our students to study, think and grow as productive individuals."