October 29, 2009 – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today that University of Massachusetts Chancellor Robert Holub has committed to establish an Urban Design Center at 3-7 Elm Street at Court Square. The new center will be open February 1, 2010 and provide a variety of programs in architecture, landscape architecture, conservation and regional planning.
“We are thrilled with the UMass decision to move into downtown. The new Urban Design Center will provide a great resource to the City of Springfield and help us to continue to advance our economic development efforts,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “UMass has been working with the City of Springfield’s Development Services Division to establish this center to further assist in the economic revitalization of the City,” stated Sarno. “This is the first step in a multi-pronged commitment by the University to partner with the city,” added Sarno.
“Chancellor Holub is extremely pleased to announce the opening of the Urban Design Center. This is one of our commitments to the city on economic development and will build a platform for an ongoing, expanded relationship with the City of Springfield. We are grateful to the Mayor and his staff for their help. The Urban Design Center is part of our long term relationship with the City” said John Mullin, Dean of the Graduate Schools at UMass.
Holub said his staff would continue to work with Springfield to ascertain next steps in a broader commitment, that will include fostering UMass related business spin-offs in Springfield, expanding the number of Springfield students attending UMass and examining the placement of UMass back-off functions into the larger development - next door - at 31 Elm Street, Court Square.
“The UMass Design Center will be a critical piece in the revitalization of Springfield. The Urban Design Center will offer academic programming, forums on design, and other opportunities that will focus on City priorities.” said John Judge, Chief Development Officer.