UMass Boston Breaks Ground on $113 Million General Academic Building No. 1

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University’s Second New Academic Building Expected to Open in 2015

Rendering of General Academic Building No. 1

The building’s state-of-the-art classroom spaces, laboratories, and performance areas will truly transform the learning and teaching experience here at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley and state and local dignitaries broke ground yesterday on a $113 million, 181,000-square-foot academic building aimed at supporting the university’s growing student enrollment and course offerings.

General Academic Building No. 1 (GAB No. 1), the second new academic building in UMass Boston’s 25-year master plan, will be constructed on the northeast corner of campus, adjacent to the Campus Center on the former North Lot.

The four-story building will provide nearly 2,000 seats of general-purpose classroom space, along with a theater, recital hall, studios, teaching labs, student lounges, and a cafeteria. GAB No. 1 will also house three academic programs: Art, Chemistry, and Performing Arts. It is expected to open in 2015.

“General Academic Building No. 1 is vital in providing the space we need as we increase enrollment and expand our academic offerings,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley said. “The building’s state-of-the-art classroom spaces, laboratories, and performance areas will truly transform the learning and teaching experience here at the University of Massachusetts Boston.”

General Academic Building No. 1 is part of a 25-year master plan that includes the Integrated Sciences Complex, scheduled to open in fall 2014; the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, also slated for 2014; and additional academic, residential, athletic, and parking facilities.

“With this building, we add a significant point of pride to UMass Boston’s bright future,” said UMass President Robert L. Caret. “ I congratulate Chancellor Motley and his team for their superb leadership of this project that advances UMass Boston’s urban mission and helps build on our promise to provide our exceptional students, faculty, and staff with the world-class facilities they deserve.”

The UMass Building Authority is funding and overseeing the $113 million project.

“The UMass Building Authority is extremely proud to break ground on the General Academic Building today,” said Katherine Craven, executive director of the authority. “As one of three major projects we are building on the UMass Boston campus, the General Academic Building will only further elevate the profile of this campus and enhance the experience of its students, faculty and staff with its planned state-of-the-art classrooms, and teaching, performance, and study spaces.”

Designed by Wilson Architects, the new building is incorporating many sustainable design strategies and will seek LEED Silver certification. Gilbane Building Company is serving as the project’s construction manager. In addition, the project team includes Joslin Lesser & Associates Inc.

“GAB No. 1 provides a special destination, looking east over Boston Harbor, as well as west over the Boston skyline,” said Bill Wilson, FAIA, principal at Wilson Architects. “The building's classrooms, studios, and venues will define the academic experience, and they are organized around an interactive multi-level ‘living room’ that will foster a wonderful sense of the purpose of scholarship and the values of an academic community.”

Chancellor Motley was also joined by UMass President Robert Caret, UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Henry Thomas III, state representatives Marty Walsh and Nick Collins, and UMass Boston Provost Winston Langley.

Learn more about the General Academic Building No. 1 at

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