For Immediate Release - October 07, 2009

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR NEW SOUTH ACADEMIC BUILDING AT UMASS LOWELL

BOSTON - Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - With a continued focus on job creation and economic recovery, Governor Patrick unveiled the Administration's latest five-year capital investment plan today, calling for significant investment in the Commonwealth's transportation, education, public safety, housing and environmental infrastructure and assets.

Among the projects included in the Fiscal Year 2010-2014 plan is a commitment to move forward on a new $40 million South Academic Building at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, including $1 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to fund preliminary planning and design costs.

"This investment, along with many others in regions across the state, will put people back to work and keep Massachusetts on the road to economic recovery," said Governor Patrick. "The affordable, targeted projects included in this capital plan will help address our short-term challenges and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth."

"Even during these difficult fiscal times, we are committed to making smart investments for the long-term that will help spur the Commonwealth's economic recovery," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. "The projects contained in the capital plan will help improve the state's infrastructure in communities across the Commonwealth and at the same time create jobs for our residents."

The proposed South Academic Building will be the first new academic building constructed at UMass Lowell in more than 30 years. The 63,000 square foot building will provide new general classrooms and new state of the art teaching spaces and faculty offices for the departments of Criminal Justice, Nursing and Psychology. It will also address a critical space shortage on the campus by providing backfill space for growth by other departments.

"Governor Patrick's commitment to public higher education has clearly been demonstrated by his support for this new academic building at UMass Lowell," said Chancellor Martin Meehan. There hasn't been a new academic building at UMass Lowell in more than 33 years. Our students -- present and future -- and their parents will benefit from Governor Patrick's commitment to a world-class UMass, particularly in these tough economic times," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan

"I want to thank the Patrick-Murray Administration for its commitment to and investment in our public higher education system and the UMASS Lowell campus in particular," Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos said. "This authorization will allow the campus to construct its first academic building in over three decades, advancing the campus goal of providing a world class education to our citizenry."

In addition, the Administration is continuing to fund in its five-year capital plan the state's agreed upon share of the proposed Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center at UMass Lowell at a total cost to the state of $35 million.

The Patrick-Murray Administration's FY10-14 Capital Plan is a five-year plan that reflects the current economic challenges the state is facing during this global recession. While the Administration continues to make significant, worthwhile investments in key areas including higher education, transportation and the innovation economy, the FY10 bond cap of $1.5 billion has been reduced by $226 million or 13 percent from the amount planned for FY10 in the five-year plan published last year.

To read the full plan, please visit www.mass.gov/capital

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