Monday, May 19, 2008
Mixed Feelings Over New Dirt
The University of Massachusetts Amherst was born in 1863. From that day and until now the university has undergone huge amounts of change. What once were only four wooden buildings has tripled into a major public university. On April 29th, the university celebrated its one hundred and forty-fifth anniversary of its founding. The “New Dirt” program helps with UMass’ future campus development.
As of now there are 407 buildings on the UMass Amherst campus. Thanks to the New Dirt program, there are five projects in process for the near future. The projects are as follows: the Central Heating Plant, the Integrated Science Building, the Recreation Center, the Skinner Nursing School Building Renovation, and the Studio Arts Building.
The Central Heating Building, which should be completed by March, 2008, will support the university with electricity. Another building (already in the making) is the Integrated Science Building, which is projected to be available for the Fall of 2008. One of the most highly anticipated new projects is the Recreation Center which will supposedly be open Spring 2009. The renovation process of Skinner Hall continues, even though the construction was said to have been completed by October, 2007. The final project, the Studio Arts Building, is now completed and classes will be held there next semester.
The New Dirt projects have come with mixed feelings on campus, but the general feeling from students is that the construction is for the good of the school and will benefit everyone in the long run. Jenna Spataro, a senior at UMass said, “ It’s going to make our campus look beautiful in the end.”