University of Massachusetts Amherst
School of Public Health and Health Sciences Master Plan Study
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) at University of Massachusetts Amherst addresses complex health issues by integrating traditional core areas of public health with related health science disciplines, fostering a unique environment in which transdisciplinary research collaborations can flourish. A dynamic and growing program, SPHHS plans significant growth in its undergraduate and graduate student population as well as faculty over the next 10-15 years.
MDS was engaged by UMass Amherst in 2014 to perform a comprehensive facilities master plan to assess its existing facilities and explore ways to accommodate significant program growth. The master plan addressed both the immediate need to provide for the growth that has already taken place and for long-term strategies that define options and capital investments needed to accommodate both population growth and the facilities quality required to fully realize the potential embodied in SPHHS’s vision of the future.
The school offers a wide range of academic programs, including bachelor’s degree options in communication disorders, kinesiology, nutrition, and public health sciences and master’s and doctoral degree options in communication disorders, kinesiology, nutrition, and the five core areas of public health (biostatistics, community health education, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, and health policy and management). Currently its departments are scattered across campus, occupying aging buildings that cannot accommodate the urgent need for expansion and modernization.
MDS’ work has included intensive programming and planning sessions with SPHHS stakeholders and UMass senior leaders, a comprehensive analysis of existing facilities, and has developed concept options to accommodate long-term program growth. These concepts range from a single new building to targeted renovations and significant additions to existing buildings. MDS developed phasing options and cost estimates that will allow senior leaders to develop capital funding plans.