The University of Massachusetts has spent millions of dollars over the past two decades on the renovation of old facilities and construction of new ones across its five school campuses, cutting down on a lengthy maintenance to-do list, UMass President Marty Meehan said Wednesday.
Between 2009 and 2015, UMass Amherst reduced its backlog, or agenda of facilities projects to be addressed within 10 years, by half a billion dollars, Meehan said in a letter to state leaders.
Meehan pointed out in the letter that the entire UMass system is on track to reduce its maintenance backlog from $3.2 billion to $2.26 billion over the next three years, according to Sightlines, an advisory firm that works with UMass.
“The building that has taken place across the UMass system has been critical to our ability to step forward and emerge as a great public university,” Meehan said a statement Wednesday. “While we have constructed new facilities, we have also recognized the need to repair facilities that aged over the years.”
Over the past 20 years, enrollment at UMass has shot up 44.5 percent from 51,044 students to 73,761 students, including more than 8,000 students coming from out-of-state, Meehan said in the letter.
Buildings that have popped up on UMass grounds as a result include the Integrated Sciences Complex in Boston, the Claire T. Carney Library in Dartmouth, University Crossing in Lowell, and the Albert Sherman Center in Worcester, Meehan said in the letter.
The letter was sent to Governor Charlie Baker and state legislators.
“Periodically, the university makes reports to state government leaders about various efficiency statistics and things we’re doing to spend money as wisely as possible,” said UMass spokesman Robert Connolly.
Over the next three years, UMass is set to spend more than $3.3 billion on capital falling under four categories: research, teaching and learning, student and residential life, and basic infrastructure, Connolly said.
More than one-third of the money is slated to go to UMass Amherst, according to Connolly.
An estimated 32 percent of the funding for the capital plan will come from the Commonwealth, although the amount of money UMass receives in state appropriations each year is subject to change, Connolly said.Rachel Riley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @rachel_m_riley.