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UMS Board Endorses Preliminary Plan to Demolish 3% of Campus Facilities

The University of Maine System Board of Trustees unanimously approve a preliminary plan to knock down up to 300,000 gross square feet of vacant, underutilized, or poorer condition space across the campuses.  This represents approximately 3% of the University’s 9 million square foot physical plant (statewide).

The Dickey Woods Residence Hall in Gorham (USM) is prime example of a demolition project that would be pursued by campus leaders.

This is largest and most strategic effort to date by the University of Maine System to reduce its footprint and the costs associated with underutilized or poor performing space.  The demolition proposal is part of a broader effort to manage facilities costs and make fiscally responsible infrastructure investments largely focused on restoring existing space to better serve students and respond to Maine’s workforce development needs.   The emphasis on updating existing facilities and restoring facilities through replacement will result in no new net space for the University. 

The recommended proposal would use $10 million in proceeds from a University revenue bond to eliminate 300,000 square feet of underutilized facilities on top of the 250,000 the Universities have already removed to reduce costs.  At an annual operating cost of about $7 per-square-foot the removal of 300,000 square feet of space will save tuition and taxpayers an estimated $2.3 million annually.   Additional approvals will be needed at a future Board meeting.