Baker-Polito Administration Announces $120 Million Investment in Public Colleges and Universities to Retrofit Buildings to Pursue STEM Education


SalemThe Baker-Polito administration today announced investments totaling more than $120 million in four public colleges and universities to renovate and expand campus facilities that improve student skills in STEM fields. Salem State University, Massasoit Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and University of Massachusetts Lowell will each receive $30 million for major capital projects that will upgrade campus facilities to support the STEM education and to increase the number of skilled workers in key STEM occupations in the Commonwealth. The improvements will increase the enrollment capacity in these programs by approximately 2,000 students. Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced the funding today during an event at Salem State University.

The Administration also announced today a new $165 million program to perform critical infrastructure upgrades on higher education campuses over the next five years. The first four awards from the new Critical Buildings Infrastructure Program, totaling more than $60 million, will support projects at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Northern Essex Community College, Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy . This funding is in addition to the $250 million the Administration has committed over the next five years to make small, essential repairs on college campuses.

“The investments we are announcing today will help our public colleges and universities better educate and train the workforce of tomorrow,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The overarching goal of these investments is to modernize campus facilities to support STEM education, ensuring that students graduate from college with the skills they need to be ready to compete in high-demand fields. “

“These capital projects at our state colleges and universities will help further expand STEM workforce capacity and increase enrollment at these institutions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are happy to support these projects and invest in our public higher education institutions.

The state investment will leverage local contributions, bringing the total investment to $242 million for the four major projects. Public funds are available through An Act providing for capital repairs and improvements for the Commonwealth, a $3.9 billion capital bond bill passed the legislature and signed by the governor in 2018.

The projects will help colleges and universities increase enrollment in high-demand STEM programs, and three projects will increase enrollment capacity in nursing and health science programs, which will help the Commonwealth support a pipeline of new talent for an essential workforce impacted by the pandemic.

“These four major projects address critical economic and workforce development priorities in their regions for high-growth STEM majors and professions,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “And the UMass Dartmouth project will be the first project undertaken as part of our strategy to address critical building infrastructure needs across all of our public higher education campuses over the next five years.”

“These investments will improve campus facilities and provide more Commonwealth students with opportunities to access education in critical and high-demand areas,” Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael J. Heffernan said. “We are pleased to fund this important capital work at colleges and universities that will bring lasting benefits to our students, our workforce and our economy.

Each project has been assessed on how it will meet workforce needs, potential impact on students, collaboration with industry organizations and education partners, and the criteria established in the administration’s strategic framework for long-term capital investments in public higher education campuses, that prioritizes projects to address deferred maintenance backlogs and support labor needs.

Major Capital Projects – $120 million:

Massasoit Community College Renovations, Science, Nursing and Paramedic: The project will include comprehensive renovations to the college’s science and liberal arts buildings, which will benefit nearly all students enrolled in the college. Science labs will be upgraded, specialized teaching space expanded and classrooms expanded. The total project will cost around $41 million, including $30 million in public funds.

Salem State University, SSU BOLD: This project will change the campus footprint through the sale of South Campus and provide updated healthcare and STEM spaces that will positively impact the student experience. The total cost of the project is estimated at $84 million, with $30 million in state investment, $54 million in Salem State investment, and private donations.

Springfield Technical Community College, School of Health and Patient Simulation Relocation: This project will relocate the School of Health and Patient Simulation programs from Building 20 to more appropriate locations on the STCC campus and in the Springfield Technology Park. The total projected cost is $41 million, with $30 million of public funds, $11 of STCC investment and private resources.

University of Massachusetts Lowell, Olney Hall: This project will modernize and improve the capacity of laboratory spaces and meet size constraints and enrollment needs in STEM fields such as biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, and civil and environmental engineering. The total cost of the project is $75 million, including $30 million in public funds and $45 million committed by UMass Lowell.

New Critical Infrastructure Program for Buildings:

This new program launched today by the administration will focus on essential building infrastructure renovations on higher education campuses. Approximately $165 million will be invested over the next five years to renovate or repair critical building infrastructure, such as updating HVAC systems, repairing elevators and improving building energy efficiency. The administration has also committed $250 million over five years for smaller critical repairs, such as replacing roofs, windows, floors and bathrooms, of which $50 million will be invested in the fiscal year. 23.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: UMass Dartmouth’s $30 million building infrastructure project will modernize the liberal arts and sciences building that was built in 1966 by providing a sustainable, energy-efficient HVAC system that includes air conditioning and temperature control. individual space temperature. A new ventilation system will improve comfort and provide energy monitoring and control capabilities. Electrical systems will be upgraded and expanded to support new HVAC equipment, and the project will also include window replacements and improvements to the building envelope.

North Essex Community College: This $10 million investment will support the renovation of the General Services (B) and Science (E) buildings: Renovation of the infrastructure of the General Services “B” and Science “E” buildings on the Haverhill campus, which house classrooms, laboratories and offices. The renovation focuses on energy efficiency, including system upgrades and window and door replacements, critical ADA compliance needs, and improved life safety. The total cost of the project is estimated at approximately $12 million.

Berkshire Community College: This $10 million investment will support the replacement of windows in the Koussevitzky and Edwards Library buildings, including the removal of caulking and the replacement of windows to comply with EPA requirements.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy: This $10.5 million investment will support infrastructure upgrades to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy pier to support the Academy’s training operations.

Since 2018, the Baker-Polito administration has provided significant investment for deferred maintenance projects at all Commonwealth public colleges and universities. Over the past six years, the Administration has committed funds or invested approximately $1.1 billion to address deferred maintenance and critical repairs on higher education campuses.

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