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October 20, 2020

UMass Medical School to build $325M research building

Photo | Courtesy | UMass Medical School A rendering of a planned nine-story research and education building planned at UMass Medical School in Worcester
Photo | Courtesy | UMass Medical School A planned new nine-story building, highlighted in yellow, will stand between two existing research and education buildings at the UMass Medical School campus in Worcester. In the foreground is construction of a new Veterans Affairs care building.

The UMass Medical School said Tuesday it will construct a $325-million, nine-story research and education building for a major expansion of its Worcester campus.

The building will be built close to Plantation Street between two existing buildings: the Lazare Research Building and the Albert Sherman Center. A parking garage now standing on the site will be partially demolished beginning in January, with a steel frame for the new building rising by next fall.

The 350,000-square-foot building is due to be complete by the fall of 2023. It will join a four-story, $75-million Veterans Affairs care facility already underway on the other end of the campus, near Belmont Street, due to be complete in mid-2021.

UMass said it will borrow for the project through the UMass Building Authority. It has received approval from the UMass board of trustees, the school said.

[Related: UMass Medical School aimed for $250M in fundraising — and beat it]

The new building announced Tuesday will include space for 77 principal investigators, in addition to animal medicine and a manufacturing facility for clinical trial therapeutics. It is expected to house the Horae Gene Therapy Center, the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology, the Program in Molecular Medicine, and the new Program in Human Genetics & Evolutionary Biology.

The new space will also allow the school to increase its student body size, something that's been kept consistent in recent years despite high demand from prospective students. The building will connect with its neighboring structures through both raised walkways and below-grade connections.

The Sherman Center opened in 2013, and the Lazare Research Building in 2001.

The new UMass building will be by far the most expensive on the horizon at a college in Central Massachusetts. Worcester Polytechnic Institute is building an $80-million academic and student services building, and College of the Holy Cross is building a $107-million performing arts building and the $30-million Joanne Chouinard-Luth Recreation and Wellness Center.

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