UMass and Springfield announce plans for satellite campus - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

UMass and Springfield announce plans for satellite campus

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UMass and Springfield have partnered to create a satellite campus for the university here in the city.

Classes are expected to begin a year from now.

27,000 square feet of space on the second floor of Tower Square will be transformed into a UMass satellite campus by this time next year. 

University officials, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled the plans Tuesday morning in Tower Square. 

"Each of our gateway cities, the presence of a university or universities in the downtown has been a real economic stimulus," said Gov. Patrick. 

UMass already has a large presence here in Springfield with university staff involved in more than 120 programs ranging from health to engineering.

Six other locations were considered but university officials say they knew Springfield had to be home.

"Springfield was chosen largely for best fit, because of the community colleges, the specific programmatic needs here, the fact that it's a gateway city which is what we were looking at," said UMass President Robert Caret. 

Not only is the campus expected to open new opportunities here in the city, but Mayor Sarno expects economic growth as well.

"You'll see the moniker of umass, 100,000 cars going back and forth on I-91, get them to matriculate into downtown Springfield neighborhoods," Sarno said. 

Prospective students like Yamaris Benjamin no longer have to worry about the 25 mile trek up I-91 to take classes in Amherst. 

She'll now be enrolling closer to home to major in psychology.

"It'll be great to learn from the best, and UMass is one of the best universities in the country so I'm excited."

The satellite campus will offer all the UMassOnline courses and degrees that are offered at the university's five other campuses.

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