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Trustees approve Master Plan to transform USM campuses

The University of Southern Maine is moving forward on an exciting plan to significantly improve the student experience with new and renovated buildings, added central green spaces and the Portland campus’ first residence hall.

Trustees of the University of Maine System approved the Master Plan on Jan. 28.

USM President Glenn Cummings called it “a huge step forward for our university.”

“The Board’s unanimous approval sets the stage for major improvements,” Cummings said. “The momentum feels palpable.”

The plan, which has been taking shape since 2016, examines USM and defines three waves of campus changes: immediate, short term (3 to 5 years) and long term (5 to 20 years).

Among the immediate capital investments on the Gorham campus include renovations to classroom buildings, residence halls and the Costello Sports Complex, as well the already planned and scheduled $2 million renovation of the Brooks Dining Hall in Gorham.

Other Gorham campus improvements planned for the short-term include a new “campus heart” quad and additional renovations to residence halls and the Brooks Student Center.

On the Portland campus, the Master Plan calls for a new campus green flanked by a state-of-the-art Career and Student Success Center and a new residence hall. Other major projects include a Center for the Arts and a cutting edge Graduate Center for Professional Studies that would also be the new home of the University of Maine School of Law.

Funding for all of these projects is ongoing, but some are certain, thanks in part to the passage of the 2018 Maine Workforce Bond, which brings more than $25 million in investment to USM.  A public-private partnership will fund the new Portland residence hall.

For more detail on the plan — and the full plan itself — go to the Master Plan page on the USM website. The Portland Press Herald also featured a story on the Trustees' approval.