Education Topping Off

UMass Chan Medical School Celebrates Topping Off

Topping off for UMass Chan Medical School’s new Education and Research Building / Photos courtesy of Ross O’Donohue, Shawmut Design and Construction

Worcester, MA – Shawmut Design and Construction joined UMass Chan Medical School to celebrate the topping off construction milestone on the new education and research building, a 9-story, 350,000sf biomedical research and education complex on the university’s Worcester campus. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification for energy efficiency and sustainability, the facility is scheduled to open in 2024.

Parth Chakrabarti, executive vice chancellor of innovation and business development, UMass Chan Medical School; Lisa Colombo, executive vice chancellor of Commonwealth medicine, UMass Chan Medical School; Les Hiscoe, CEO, Shawmut Design and Construction; Bryan Thorp, associate principal, ARC; Barbara Kroncke, executive director, UMass Building Authority; Chancellor Michael F. Collins, UMass Chan Medical School; Mireli Fino, executive vice chancellor of MassBiologics, UMass Chan Medical School; and Terence Flotte, provost and executive deputy chancellor, UMass Chan Medical School

After a noontime ceremony on Aug. 22, the 407-foot-tall lattice boom crane, a feature of the construction site since March, lifted the beam to the highest point of the structure – 184 feet above the concrete slab foundation – where members of Iron Workers Local 7 guided it into place. In all, 5,873 steel beams and columns form the skeleton of the building.

In partnership with Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC) and UMass Building Authority, the project is creating a state-of-the-art building that supports the development of therapeutics in a high-performance, sustainable environment. The complex will feature program space for more than 70 principal investigators; an FDA-compliant manufacturing facility for clinical trial therapeutics; research space including wet labs, benches, exhaust hood alcoves, linear equipment rooms, and environmental areas; and administrative offices, collaboration spaces, and conference rooms.

Les Hiscoe delivered remarks during the topping off ceremony.

The new building sits at the center of the campus, between the Aaron Lazare Research Building and the Albert Sherman Center. It will expand research, educational, and conference capabilities to support the missions of all three graduate schools on campus. The next phase of construction will be the installation of the roof and the exterior curtain wall system of glass and steel panels.

“The teaching and biomedical research that will occur in this building is critical to achieving our strategic goals,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “Groundbreaking discoveries in RNA biology and gene therapy for diseases like ALS, Tay Sachs, and Canavan disease have been made right here on this campus. Now we take an important symbolic step toward the promise of the next generation of discovery, breakthroughs, and teaching that will take place in this new space.”