So like all Amherst Redevelopment Authority meetings these past six months, tonight was nothing but 'Gateway Project.' And once again Deputy Chancellor Todd Diacon and Executive Director of the Office of External Relations Nancy Buffone showed up to demonstrate the continuing commitment of our major partner, Umass.
But if I were a cub Collegian reporter covering tonight's meeting, my lead fact would be that Umass will have a celebration ceremony to remember/honor/commemorate Marching Band Director George N. Parks on October 16--'Homecoming Day'-- at the Mullins Center, which has a seating capacity of 10,000... so that may be big enough.
Runner up fact: Deputy Chancellor Diacon confirming that the $182 million for student housing announced today in the Springfield Republican will have no impact one way or the other on the Gateway Project.
The 1500 bed dormitory will be in the center of campus (thus tax exempt) and God only knows how long that will take to get built since it will be a public undertaking as opposed to the Gateway Project which, like the Isenberg School of Management addition/renovation mostly funded by Jack Welch, will be farmed out to the private sector.
And finally, the ARA is now going to hold off on rushing a Request For Proposals for a consultant on the Gateway Project as we wish to carefully absorb more public advice--besides just the immediate neighbors who have given us continuous input.
The Springfield Republican reports
George N. Parks Facebook memorial page: 10,000 friends and still growing!