UMass Boston chancellor hopes to provide housing for 2,000 students

Nancy Reardon

Making it to the lecture hall on time at the University of Massachusetts at Boston is only a T ride away for most of its students.

Imagine if it were closer.

That’s the vision Chancellor J. Keith Motley has for the Dorchester campus, where he wants to provide university housing to 2,000 students.

The new face of UMass-Boston will be a more traditional campus, he says.

The university’s $900 million, 25-year strategic plan calls for rebuilding the campus on the same site, preserving a few existing structures but mostly adding facilities, green space, parking structures and – most dramatically – residence halls.

“I want a physical institution that meets the same criteria our faculty and students bring to the campus,” Motley told The Patriot Ledger editorial board Tuesday.

Twenty-five percent of admitted students who chose not to attend the university this year picked another school because UMass-Boston does not have dorms, Motley said, quoting a survey.

Nineteen percent of the 13,433 students who enrolled at the school in the fall of 2007 came from South Shore towns. Six percent came from Quincy alone.

“The biggest thing holding UMass-Boston back is the physical state of the buildings,” Vice Chancellor Ellen O’Connor said. “It’s basically a brick fortress built two stories up with a raceway around it.”

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