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UMass Lowell officially unveils new $80 million academic building focusing on emerging technology

The University of Massachusetts Lowell unveiled a new $80 million academic building today, the first new building constructed on campus in more than three decades, the university said.

The 84,000-square-foot building, called the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, will house research in nanotechnology, plastics engineering and optics, molecular biology, and many other sciences.

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The college said more than 400 people, including Governor Deval Patrick, attended the unveiling of the four-story building, which has been under construction since 2010.

The project was funded in part by the Massachusetts Economic Investment Act of 2006. Funding also came from by the federal government, UMass Building Authority, university alumni, and the Massachusetts Life Science Center, the college said.

“This cutting-edge facility is more than a building – it is a living reminder of what can be accomplished by the University of Massachusetts working together with Massachusetts elected and business officials to bring jobs, innovation and the best in new ideas for the benefit of UMass Lowell faculty and students and the entire Commonwealth,” the UMass Authority’s executive director, Katherine Craven, said in a statement.

The new building will be staffed by skilled technicians and its mission is to prepare students for jobs in emerging sectors. The center will also be the site of corporate and government-sponsored research.

The center is the first building to be completed in UMass Lowell’s current “building boom” which will also include a health and social sciences building, a residence hall, and a parking garage in 2013 as well as a student center that will open in 2014.

“We also learned last week that the state is providing funding for the university to build a new business school building, but that is still in the planning stages,” said Christine Gillette, a spokeswoman for the university.

Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at sarah.mattero@globe.com.
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