Portland, ME A new chapter for the University of Southern Maine (USM) is underway, starting May 20 with the groundbreaking of the Career & Student Success Center (CSSC) and the adjacent Portland Commons Residence Hall, the very first housing on the USM campus in Portland. The new buildings will transform the educational experience while also working towards the school’s campus-wide environmental responsibility goals.
The $ 100 million construction project, the largest in the school’s history, will provide affordable on-campus housing for 580 students as well as a center dedicated to career development and promoting diversity efforts , equity and inclusion of USM. Both projects are expected to be completed or largely completed by June 2023. A one-acre green space will complement the new construction, replacing a paved parking lot to create an active meeting place and hub for the entire city. the university community.
The launch of this project is due to the collaborative synergy of the team behind its development, design and construction. Capstone Development Partners, a national student housing developer specializing in on-campus public-private partnerships (P3), has brought the team together on an accelerated schedule. Capstone’s participation marks the first use of the PPP model in the University of Maine system and paves the way for future developments using this model throughout the system. Elkus Manfredi Architects, as Design Architect, and SMRT, as Architect of Reference, come together to design the Place Creation Structures that also embrace USM’s commitment to sustainability. As a designer-builder, PC Construction manages all aspects of procurement and construction.
“The Career and Student Success Center and the Portland Commons Residence Hall add essential elements to the educational experience of our students and, with the new green space, they will transform the Portland campus as well as the city,” said the president of USM Glenn Cummings at the virtual inauguration. “The use of sustainable design and construction practices and materials reflects our commitment to our students and the State of Maine.”
Along with remarks from other university leaders, the groundbreaking pre-recorded video featured several students who shared their personal experiences at USM and the impact of these new facilities on prospective students.
Sustainability: The 218,000 s / f Portland Commons Residence Hall is designed to Passive House (PHIUS) standards, the world’s most stringent certification that measures energy efficiency and indoor air quality, and is expected to use 50% less energy than a comparable structure built for code. It will be the second largest passive house university building and the seventh largest in the country. The CSSC next door is designed according to LEED standards.
Among its durable features are a large rooftop photovoltaic solar panel and cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction featured in the building’s iconic portico design, which takes advantage of passive solar heating through the large glass openings oriented to the building. south in winter. CLT weighs less than steel, contains less carbon, and makes a connection to the beautiful forests of the state of Maine.
Transforming the USM Portland Campus: The first student accommodation on the Portland campus presents an exciting opportunity for USM. Creating an attractive cornerstone at the entrance to the urban campus, Portland Commons will be located at the corner of Durham and Bedford streets. Large bay windows illuminating the common areas on the first floor will activate this entrance to the campus. It will also add an important element to the USM student experience: living and learning away from home and among peers. With a mix of single en-suite bedrooms, studios and larger apartments with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, undergraduates, graduate students and law students in Maine will now have access to housing. affordable in a market where inventory is low and expensive. It will also help reduce competition for scarce housing with Portland residents and alleviate overcrowding at Gorham campus residences, where pre-pandemic student occupancy rates exceeded capacity.
Student Support Spaces: The three-story, 42,000 s / f CSSC strengthens USM’s workforce development capacity and serves as an inviting hub for student connection. A street-level dining room seats 300 and, with a lounge by the fire, creates inviting environments for students to connect and collaborate. The second floor is entirely devoted to career development with offices for guidance counselors and spaces for conducting job interviews. On the top floor, the Diversity and Multicultural Center and Student Government Office will bring students together, fostering the diversity of USM’s community and cultures.
USM is applying $ 19 million in government bonds at the cost of the Career & Student Success Center (CSSC) of $ 26.6 million, which is part of the $ 49 million voters in Maine have approved for the system. university in November 2018. The $ 72.8 million, 580- The dormitory will be funded by revenue bonds from the University of Maine system, and the revenue generated by the dormitory will fund annual payments from the University of Maine service. debt.
Capstone Development Partners, LLC is a leading national developer of student housing, specializing in on-campus public-private partnerships. The company has offices in Birmingham, Alabama and Denver, Colorado. Its directors, Jeff Jones and Bruce McKee, have over 45 years of combined experience as leaders in the higher education student housing industry. Since 1997, Capstone’s directors have partnered with nearly 70 public and private colleges and universities and have provided more than 46,000 student accommodation beds across the country.
Elkus Manfredi Architects creates dynamic, connected and sustainable places and environments that foster community, from the workplace to urban neighborhoods. The company offers a synergistic combination of services that includes architecture, interior design, workplace strategy, employee engagement and change management, general planning and urban design. With a heritage of over 30 years of distinction in design, the company is recognized for its work with corporate clients, life sciences, workplace, higher education, hospitality, residential and retail entertainment.
SMRT is a nationwide full-service architectural, engineering, planning and energy services company specializing in 24/7 complex building design for education clients, health, government, science / technology / manufacturing and justice.
PC Construction provides general contractor, construction management and design-build services to private and public clients across the country. The company manages projects along the East Coast and in the Southeastern United States from its headquarters in Vermont and a network of sites in Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York and North Carolina. A leader in the construction industry for over 60 years, PC Construction is guided to success by its team of dedicated employee-owners.
Credits returned: Elkus Manfredi Architects