School Committee OKs SMAST land transfer

NEW BEDFORD — The School Committee Monday unanimously voted to convey 4 acres to the state so UMass Dartmouth can expand its School for Marine Science and Technology in the South End.
“It has been a long, hard road but we are going to get to a great place,” said Paul Vigeant, UMD’s assistant chancellor for economic development, after the vote.
The City Council Thursday agreed to the transfer, and the school board followed up by declaring the site surplus property. The university has plans for a $48 million project that includes $45 million in construction costs and $3 million in new equipment.
The plans call for razing the existing former Naval Reserve Center, located at 838 S. Rodney French Blvd. The new facility would feature faculty and graduate student work space.
SMAST already has a presence in the South End: a two-story, 32,000-square-foot building and docking facilities on Clarks Cove.
In 1997, the federal government deeded the Naval Reserve land to the city, so long as it used the property for educational purposes.
September 13, 2011
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