In today’s Globe Rob Gavin (formerly a Lowell SUN staffer) gives us an account of the many projects the UMass system is undertaking across its five campuses. He calls them “another sign of its growing impact on regional economies.” The projects bring federal and private dollars into the Commonwealth and importantly it impacts the job market. UMASS Lowell under the direction of Chancellor Marty Meehan is an extremely important part of this initiative especially in the areas of science and research and community life.
In Lowell, UMass snapped up a struggling 252-room hotel for $15 million, about one-third of its appraised value, and invested another $5 million to renovate the building into an inn, conference center, and much-needed housing for its growing student population. Student housing fees and income generated from inn operations and conferences — which have already attracted some 23,000 visitors to downtown Lowell — are paying off the bonds that financed the acquisition and renovations.
“Years ago, the attitude was the state would provide,’’ UMass president Jack M. Wilson said. “Now, we’re taking a very business-like approach, and looking for people to come in with an entrepreneurial outlook, not an entitlement culture.’’
Read Gavin’s full article here – it includes video comments from UMASS Presdient Jack Wilson.