From USM's Chief Operating Officer & Chief Business Officer, Alec Porteous:
Dear USM Community Members,
As we return to campus and classes resume, I wanted to highlight key changes to the Portland campus related to the campus construction project ("Portland Campus Development Project") that is currently underway. In the immediate, these changes affect parking and dining options in Portland. Longer term, the project, which will be completed in June 2023, will have a transformational effect on the Portland campus. Please see more detailed information below on each of these items.
Short term - Parking
For parking, most notably, the former Bedford Street surface parking lot has been transitioned to the staging area for the campus development project. Even though this area will be fenced off, the driveway in front of Masterton will remain open, allowing vehicles access to the Luther Bonney-Masterton Lot. We just ask that pedestrians please remain on the sidewalk for safety. Additionally, as a result of the City of Portland's roundabout project at the northwest corner of campus (intersection of Falmouth Street, Deering Avenue and Brighton Avenue) the Brighton Avenue extension that ran diagonally through that part of campus to Bedford Street has been removed and the small parking lot there (adjacent to the Deering Farmhouse) has been removed, as well. Due to that construction project, please allow yourself extra time the first week of school for traveling to and from the Portland campus and extra time for your bus trip.
To alleviate these parking lot closures, the University has opened parking on the green in the Wishcamper lot. Also, we are implementing a temporary "any-pass / any-lot" policy, allowing anyone with a current, valid USM hang-tag to park in any lot on the Portland campus regardless of the pass / lot color designation, to help maximize use of open spaces. This policy does not apply to the Gorham campus. For the first two weeks of school, there is a grace period on needing to have your hang-tag since hang-tags are still being distributed. For questions about parking, please visit: the Parking site.
On net, there will be a small reduction in campus parking spaces this semester. Combined, however, with the various impacts of Covid-19 to campus life (more online courses, more remote work, etc), parking options should remain sufficient for the Fall. That said, the University will continue to monitor parking options in Portland and make further adjustments as necessary. Lastly, using alternative modes of transportation to-and-from campus helps USM reach its carbon neutrality goals, so please consider biking, taking the "METRO" Bus, taking the train or carpooling. Every trip, even if only once per week, helps.
Short term - Dining
Due to the removal of Woodbury Student Center as part of the campus development project, USM has added several new dining options on the Portland campus. Please see here a thorough summary of these changes, which Tadd Stone of Sodexo recently provided.
Long term - Portland Campus Development Project
The University and its partners broke ground on the Portland Campus Development Project in March, and it is scheduled for completion in June 2023. The $99.3 million project consists of a new 580-bed residence hall, a three-story, 42,000 square foot Career & Student Success Center and a one-acre green quad that will replace the former Bedford Street surface parking lot. The project will provide a natural, welcoming campus entry point, residential housing on the Portland campus for the first time in USM's history, and significantly upgraded career advisory space as well as dining and student center experiences. For more information, please see the project website here.
Long term - Parking Garage
To accommodate additional parking needs that will accompany the project, USM is currently engaged in the City of Portland's permitting process to build a new parking garage on the site of the Wishcamper Parking Lot (adjacent to the existing parking garage). Due to the shorter construction timeline for the garage, the University plans to complete the project in tandem with the campus development project. As we move closer to construction of the garage, more updates will follow. As construction will require elimination of the Wishcamper Parking Lot, future updates on the new parking garage will address any additional necessary changes to Portland campus parking.
Thank you for your consideration. This is an exciting time to be part of the USM community, and we look forward to welcoming you back to campus. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or for any additional background information.
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Business Officer
University of Southern Maine
Updated Fall 2021 Portland Campus Parking Map can be found here.