USM|Portland

markhb

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
552
Reaction score
117
Thanks, so it's going in the parcel labeled as Anchor Site 1 which is has a blue circle around it on the map if I'm deciphering the plans correctly. There was no way it was going to fit in the 50,000 sf grassy area beside the Abromson Center.
Yeah, between the garage and the access loop it pretty much uses all of Anchor Site 1 (plus the gray Parking area shown in that parcel map), except for the grassy area between Wishcamper and Osher. I don't know what they thought they were going to fit in there but three bays as shown on the parcel map seems ambitious, if not in need of some high-force squishing to fit them in.
 

PWMFlyer

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
148
Reaction score
114
Looks like USM wants to groundbreak this winter, also they are looking at townhouse style housing on Bedford Street .
 

Dr. StrangeHat

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
535
Reaction score
191

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
324
Reaction score
158
It looks like the building is set further in, thus removing the possibility of a potential building on Bedford (the 130,000 GSF one). It's creating another green area on the other side, so now two small green areas instead of one that is bigger. Not sure this is a good idea. Why does this building have to dominate the space? USM needs a new law school, business graduate school, and science building (for biotech studies) more than it needs a massive music studies, music performance, and art gallery space. It's nice to have, don't get me wrong, but it won't be preparing a larger number of grads for the work marketplace. The school boasts about past students who have won Grammy Awards, but how many is that? And when they do win, they leave Maine. The only Grammy Award winner I know of who has remained in Maine (he has over 30) is Bob Ludwig, who does mastering in an office in the parking garage retail behind the Westin. He's amazing, and over the years would go to lunch with artists like Bruce Springsteen. You don't see that kind of thing every day in Portland.
 
Last edited:

DanielPWM19

New member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
56
It looks like the building is set further in, thus removing the possibility of a potential building on Bedford (the 130,000 GSF one). It's creating another green area on the other side, so now two small green areas instead of one that is bigger. Not sure this is a good idea. Why does this building have to dominate the space? USM needs a new law school, business graduate school, and science building (for biotech studies) more than it needs a massive music studies, music performance, and art gallery space. It's nice to have, don't get me wrong, but it won't be preparing a larger number of grads for the work marketplace. The school boasts about past students who have won Grammy Awards, but how many is that? And when they do win, they leave Maine. The only Grammy Award winner I know of who has remained in Maine (he has over 30) is Bob Ludwig, who does mastering in an office in the parking garage retail behind the Westin. He's amazing, and over the years would go to lunch with artists like Bruce Springsteen. You don't see that kind of thing every day in Portland.
From what I understand, they were looking downtown for space for the law school so it was closer to the court and firms. Judging by the addition they made to the library a decade or so ago, I'm sure if they really wanted to they could squeeze another building somewhere as needed. Environmentally, this is probably better as well. Though planning should have some forward-thinking mindfulness in case they want to build more in the future. The rumor was they were always planning on getting rid of the row of white houses anyhow - so that could be a thing. More land can always be acquired too.
 

Cosakita18

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
494
Reaction score
350
From what I understand, they were looking downtown for space for the law school so it was closer to the court and firms. Judging by the addition they made to the library a decade or so ago, I'm sure if they really wanted to they could squeeze another building somewhere as needed. Environmentally, this is probably better as well. Though planning should have some forward-thinking mindfulness in case they want to build more in the future. The rumor was they were always planning on getting rid of the row of white houses anyhow - so that could be a thing. More land can always be acquired too.
Personally, I hope the School of Law and Graduate center stay in a downtown location. I think those will bring a lot of year-round vitality to downtown and be more attractive to prospective students.

Also don't forget that USM has a fairly large parcel on the other side of Deering Ave which will soon be vacant when the existing law building comes down . (Unless someone calls out for it to be listed as a historic landmark)
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
324
Reaction score
158
I think they will tear down the law school building. The Arch Digest article voting it as one of the 8 ugliest college buildings in America is perhaps too much to bear. Ideally, it should be a new building to replace it, and then a new business grad school across, in the corner, or next to Payson Smith Hall. A skywalk could connect. I went to USM in Portland for one year, way back, and liked it's location. I enjoyed the views and feel from the upper floors of Luther Bonney Hall, and in the winter, it was kind of exciting to be here (before the library building was opened, and those views are also spectacular). I think 295 and the skyline across makes one think something is happening in this area, perhaps a real city, unlike the rest of Maine in the winter. I think this campus could be something great, as the location is convenient to transportation (especially the train to Boston) and the city's downtown. The train connects Bowdoin, USM Portland, UNH, and all of Boston's colleges connected by train or subway (most). I do think they need another large dormitory. I would vote for something taller, 20 floors or more, like nearly every other notable college in America has (Bowdoin has an 18 story dorm). We shall see, but so far, things are looking good.
 

Portlander

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2010
Messages
937
Reaction score
772
Coles Tower on the Bowdoin campus is 16 stories at 175 feet and was the tallest building north of Boston when completed in 1964. I do understand your point TC, however I'd also prefer the new law and graduate center to be located downtown.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
324
Reaction score
158
Coles Tower on the Bowdoin campus is 16 stories at 175 feet and was the tallest building north of Boston when completed in 1964. I do understand your point TC, however I'd also prefer the new law and graduate center to be located downtown.
The primary problem with doing this is that it further divides the campus. It would then be Gorham, Portland West, and Portland East. If you are a Harvard, no problem, because it is such a big school. USM in Portland is ridiculously small for a primary university in a metro area of 500,000. I'm hoping that one day Oakhurst Dairy goes away, because that's another full block of space that can be used. The neighbors will allow that, but not more "institutional creep" with buying and demolishing houses.
 

DanielPWM19

New member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
56
The primary problem with doing this is that it further divides the campus. It would then be Gorham, Portland West, and Portland East. If you are a Harvard, no problem, because it is such a big school. USM in Portland is ridiculously small for a primary university in a metro area of 500,000. I'm hoping that one day Oakhurst Dairy goes away, because that's another full block of space that can be used. The neighbors will allow that, but not more "institutional creep" with buying and demolishing houses.
There was talk over a decade ago of USM buying 326-332 Forest Ave (remember Pier 1 being here?) and for the Student Center and have space on the main drag.

USM could always acquire buildings or land across the way to refurbish some of those older buildings (309 - 375 and the land behind). There was also some talk once upon a time of doing away with all of the 4-leaf clover 295 Ramps to open up space for development and reconnect that part of Portland with the peninsula.

In the current climate, schools are having to think beyond their campuses and consider more web-based offerings to remain competitive.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
324
Reaction score
158
The college experience will eventually go back to at-the-school learning. It's about the environment. If you REALLY want to learn a language, you go live with a French family for 3 months because you have to talk the language so that they pass food to you at the table. Survival pressures, open the brain up a bit more, as it does with any intense learning environment. It's why an education is better at an Ivy League school. Your roommate was probably at the top of his class at his high school, so that's who you talk with (not a dolt in your house with at-home learning), all the teachers are brilliant, and the competitive vibe permeates. USM as a school in pieces with a substantial online component is nothing of note. However, make the programs intense and cram everyone on the campus, and now you've got something.

Typical government-led school procrastination result... Now they are another $6 million in the hole before they've even started.
https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/um...ting-temporary-space-for-law-business-schools
 
Last edited:

Top