Campus Master Plan

University of Massachusetts Lowell


Location: Lowell, MA

Total GSF: 13,000 GSF New Construction, 144,000 GSF Renovation

Completed: 2009


The University of Massachusetts Lowell, spanning 125 acres split among three campuses, has been educating students to work in the real-world for more than a century. The physical separation of its campuses traces back to its early roots as the Lowell Normal School (later to become Lowell State) located on South Campus and the Lowell Textile School (later to become Lowell Tech) located on North Campus. In 1975 the schools merged to become the University of Lowell, which joined the University of Massachusetts system in 1991.


These early roots are still evident in the academic focus of the North and South campuses. North Campus continues the tradition of Lowell Tech with its focus in engineering and the sciences. South Campus has built on its tradition as a Normal School with its focus in the humanities, education and professional schools. East is home to approximately 1,600 students housed in four dormitories, including the University’s largest dormitory, Fox Hall. The University’s newest building, the Recreation Center, Wannalancit and the Institute of Plastics are also on East Campus. The Merrimack River intersects the Campuses, with North Campus on its west bank and South Campus and East Campus on the east. Although on separate banks of the river, North Campus and East Campus are less than ½ mile apart. South Campus is approximately 1 ¼ miles from East Campus and North Campus.


The University has identified 5 strategic priorities that will serve as the basis of its Strategic Plan. This Campus Master Plan will seek to align the University’s facilities to support these strategic priorities as they continue to evolve into a more comprehensive Strategic Plan. These priorities are as follows:

• Build student access, development and success.

• Build the quality and stature of academic programs offered by the University.

• Contribute to the sustainability of the physical, economic and social well-being of the region and community.

• Strengthen the University’s image and reputation for its commitment to educational excellence and diversity.

• Strengthen the University’s long-term financial and physical plant viability driven by strategic planning that engages the campus and external community.


Although the Campus Master Plan will quantify specific needs and plan future projects with projected costs in a carefully considered phased plan, it is clear that much can change over time. Therefore, it is critical that this Master Plan provide a well documented framework that explains the relationship of variables that generate the proposed developments so the University can utilize it as a tool to more completely understand the ripple effect of potential options in its decision making process as it addresses changing circumstances in the future.