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December 14, 2021

Running behind schedule, UMass Chan begins construction on $325M research building foundation

A large construction pit Photo | UMass Chan Medical School Construction began on the foundation of UMass Chan's 350,000-square-foot research building in 2021.

UMass Chan Medical School has begun construction on the foundation for its nine-story education and research building in Worcester, about five months behind its original schedule.

The site, located between two other UMass buildings on Plantation Street, has been in the process of excavation and demolition for months, according to a story posted on the medical school's website on Dec. 7. Now, Boston contractor Shawmut Design and Construction is beginning construction of the concrete foundation.

UMass announced the project in October 2020. The school predicted the steel frame for the 350,000-square-foot building would be completed in October of this year, and the building would be weathertight by January. 

The latest update said contractors will be working on the foundation until March, and then begin erecting the steel framework.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work, from a lot of people, to keep this project on track,” said John Baker, associate vice chancellor for UMass Chan facilities management, in the school's posting. “This is a big project, right in the middle of campus, so we appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation as construction continues.”

The project is still expected to be complete by its original goal date of fall 2023, said UMass Chan spokeswoman Sarah Wiley.

As the largest construction project on the horizon for Central Massachusetts colleges, the new building was predicted to cost $325 million when it was first announced last year. Over the last year, materials and labor costs have increased nationwide.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story cited a press release from UMass Medical, when in fact it was a story posted on the school's website, not an official press notice.

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