USM | Portland

PlantArch

New member
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
56
Reaction score
71
I'm guessing the move is primarily an administrative one (save $). Prior to the pandemic, there was a presence of current and former students from all over the world working at this office. Portland is probably the better locale than Southborough for social activities. As for the law school, it's no wonder that it will thrive at this location. The fate of the building on the USM campus is a big unknown. However, I would assume a "light" interior makeover would compel some of the department offices located in housing surrounding the campus to relocate here. Simply convert the upper floor to a substantial cafe with a view. It pops up above the tree line with sightlines to much of Portland. Add a skylight or two too. The surrounding campus houses can be converted to student rental housing (already a spec thing on the street behind the law building). There is a HUGE potential for this campus. Its location is ideal. I'd like to see the graduate school of business on this end of the campus, as well as a beefed-up biosciences department to ready students for the biotech companies of not only Boston, but Portland too.
Given that the costs to maintain that building which is in dire disrepair are so high, I do not foresee any option for it other than demolition. I would love to see that eyesore put out of it's misery.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
Given that the costs to maintain that building which is in dire disrepair are so high, I do not foresee any option for it other than demolition. I would love to see that eyesore put out of it's misery.
Is the building structurally sound? State Street Bank in Boston is undergoing a facelift now (so ugly, the old one), though they are moving to a beautiful new tower near Gov Center next year. The facade change is looking much better, or enough so to lease again. A replacement for the old law building, with that kind of square footage, is probably at least 15-20 million. A facade upgrade, HVAC update, and sealing leaks can't be more than 5 million? If more, than yes, probably best to raze it. But then again, Portland has much older hi-rises that have undergone interior renovations; The Eastland Hotel, for example, of which apparently now there are no issues. Yes, the law building is ugly, but can still be improved. Any old unsightly car can be dramatically improved. Haven't you seen "Pimp My Ride"? Remarkable transformations of some pretty hideous personal rides. "Pimp Our Law School Building" could work. Lol.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
Drove past this morning. The new parking garage construction across the street has started too. I think when this is all done and students have populated it, I think the emphasis, or desire, will be with the Portland campus.
 

MartinS

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
30
Just finished uploading both the Portland Commons Residence Hall and Career and Student Success Center to Emporis.com. After going over the elevations for Portland Commons, I determined a height of 96' 2"- 4" (it varies as to which parapet diagram you are looking at). As for the Student Center, I got a height of 55'9" architecturally, and tip height of 57'6" (roof top exhaust). They should populate Emporis within the week ;-).

 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
Just finished uploading both the Portland Commons Residence Hall and Career and Student Success Center to Emporis.com. After going over the elevations for Portland Commons, I determined a height of 96' 2"- 4" (it varies as to which parapet diagram you are looking at). As for the Student Center, I got a height of 55'9" architecturally, and tip height of 57'6" (roof top exhaust). They should populate Emporis within the week ;-).

Cool. Noticed that the Emporis Tallest Building list doesn't have the Time & Temp Bldg. and Back Bay Tower. Possible to add those? That site doesn't like my keystrokes.
 

MartinS

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
30
Cool. Noticed that the Emporis Tallest Building list doesn't have the Time & Temp Bldg. and Back Bay Tower. Possible to add those? That site doesn't like my keystrokes.
Oh they are there ;)(y) on page 4, but sadly their heights have not been verified yet. On pages 1-4 the heights have been verified and after that all of the heights are estimated. After a long hiatus, I'm back to uploading verifiable data to help fix this. I think with the help of a few other Portland forumers, we can put together an honest and reliable list of Ptown's tallest. Its not going to be an easy task though...Emporis as of late is taking their precious time uploading quantifiable data (tip height, roof height, building status updates), especially for buildings under 200 feet. From what I've observed, they are more interested in just listing more buildings than anything else (quantity over quality). If you have any verifiable input, updates or suggestions, please let me know. I'll keep chippin' away at them until it's fixed!

On a related note, the Portland Commons Residence Hall and Career and Student Success Center are up on Emporis.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
So, the ETA on this is supposed to be Spring of 2023. However, the Student Center is humming along and will, from what I've seen with the online webcams, be done before, probably around January of 2023. The dorms have all those rooms, and so all that electrical and plumbing takes time. I think the cool new Student Center, and the 1,655 parking spaces across from it (including the new garage), will generate a lot of excitement. This new University will become a magnet for more investment in Portland. Look at Boston with MIT and Harvard influencing dozens of large company additions with their highest level of tech expertise to locate there.
 

PlantArch

New member
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
56
Reaction score
71
So, the ETA on this is supposed to be Spring of 2023. However, the Student Center is humming along and will, from what I've seen with the online webcams, be done before, probably around January of 2023. The dorms have all those rooms, and so all that electrical and plumbing takes time. I think the cool new Student Center, and the 1,655 parking spaces across from it (including the new garage), will generate a lot of excitement. This new University will become a magnet for more investment in Portland. Look at Boston with MIT and Harvard influencing dozens of large company additions with their highest level of tech expertise to locate there.
I am not sure that USM will ever be a significant university. There simply is not enough land available to accommodate the infrastructure needed to expand potential programming.
 

cneal

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
328
Reaction score
138
MIT and Harvard sure aren't spending millions of dollars on new parking garages (they've actually torn several down in the past decade to build more lab space and dorms instead).

USM's administration has always treated it as a "commuter" school and their parking policies reflect that. It's great that they're adding on-campus housing, but they need to let go of their 20th-century idea that every student needs their own parking spot. If they can manage that, there's lots of room on the Portland campus for more dorms and academic space.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
I am not sure that USM will ever be a significant university. There simply is not enough land available to accommodate the infrastructure needed to expand potential programming.
Boston University never had the land, so they found ways to acquire properties to expand. Soon, Oakhurst Dairy will go (a la Jordan's Meats) as dairy is, well, not the future. That is a huge swath of adjacent property to develop. And USM can expand up, as B.U. and other city colleges have done (and the proposed Roux Institute with its six towers). I believe that the Gorham campus will eventually be sold, and all the departments will come to the Portland campus. There is too much going on in Portland to impede this progress. A wide enclosed footbridge could be built over 295 to the Portland Stadium area, and lackluster King Middle School could be relocated (and its footprint developed for USM) to Bayside for something more modern to fit for today's needs. There is sufficient potential space for USM. Simply be ambitious and creative. Portland needs a large university. The Bowdoin-Portland-UNE-UNH-Boston train tether is too dynamic of a draw for it to be held back. People, students, want to be in a dynamic city. Why do you think Boston is developing into the technology center of the world? -- Harvard and MIT, that's why. Business needs to be near talent to ensure competitiveness.
 

markhb

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
675
Reaction score
194
Unlike sausage, milk cannot easily be frozen. I don't see Oakhurst and Hoods relocating for a very long time. As for the rest of it, USM doesn't have the budget or research facilities to attract leading STEM faculty, and they aren't going to get them because the people who control the purse strings - the UMaine Board of Trustees - aren't going to allow USM to be considered a better school than Orono. IMO.
 

Cosakita18

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
560
Reaction score
548
I disagree regarding Oakhurst and Hood. I think they'll be driven out within the next 5 years. Not only are those facilities increasingly out-of-place...but they're just flat-out not in a good location. They're cramped and difficult for trucks to maneuver around. Operationally and logistically, there's no reason they can't be out in an industrial park.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
Now it looks like I have to walk back my optimism about the school. It has shot itself in the foot again (i.e., Botman). The new president is nothing but an administrator, with no leadership or business experience. It will be several years of stagnation after the new buildings are finished, or until this person is replaced.
 

Dr. StrangeHat

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
572
Reaction score
257
Now it looks like I have to walk back my optimism about the school. It has shot itself in the foot again (i.e., Botman). The new president is nothing but an administrator, with no leadership or business experience. It will be several years of stagnation after the new buildings are finished, or until this person is replaced.
I do admire your overall enthusiasm for the potential of USM, but like others on this board, I'm more pessimistic about what can actually happen. As Mark alluded to above, USM will never truly thrive unless the UMaine Board of Trustees makes USM the flagship school over UMO.
 

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
I do admire your overall enthusiasm for the potential of USM, but like others on this board, I'm more pessimistic about what can actually happen. As Mark alluded to above, USM will never truly thrive unless the UMaine Board of Trustees makes USM the flagship school over UMO.
I only have enthusiasm for USM Portland because of its location city. Boston is on its way to becoming the key center for tech and education in the world, and Portland is a de facto suburb. Do you know why at one point (before they "restricted" it) Thornton Academy (an Apple School and STEM program) had over 200 Chinese students? The parents ALL want them to go to Harvard or MIT, and so they look at a map and see that Saco is a suburb with a direct train. They have the hope that their kids will go there. It's somewhat the same for Portland with graduate schools. Boston is the draw. Portland as is could never have become what it is without this proximity to Boston entered into the equation (and NYC, to a degree). Bangor will never become the dynamic city Portland is. Never, or in our lifetimes. The U Maine system might favor Orono, but they are foolish for doing so if they want substantial growth.
 
Last edited:

TC_zoid

Active Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
483
Reaction score
353
These two buildings will build an insane amount of interest in the Portland campus. I wish the proposed new music center building was only that, music, and with more than sufficient classroom and performance space. The idea of an expansive art gallery too has no real applied value at a university. It's nice to have, but not useful. This school also needs a new science building for a bigger focus on biotech. Portland has two, billion-dollar drug companies, IDEXX and Covetrus, and Boston is becoming the big pharma center of the universe. USM is close to all of these companies.
 

Top