UMR Purchases Land for Downtown Expansion

Posted at: 12/09/2013 6:30 PM
Updated at: 12/09/2013 6:43 PM
By: Sean Boswell

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- "We don't know what learning will look like five years from now, ten years from now, so we need a space that's very flexible," said UMR Assistant Vice Chancellor Jay Hesley. "We can accommodate different learning styles as we move forward."

The university is spending more than $1.3 million to buy the three lots that currently sit as open space.

"This corner will be yet another piece to UMR's campus. It's expected to be a learning space. All part of the school’s campus master plan," said Hesley.

The extra space will be turned into more classrooms, labs and study areas.

"Any other facility, office spaces, we can find those, we can lease those on the commercial market space, and that's what we intend to do so as we build we want to build those things that are unique to our purpose which is the educational purpose," said Hesley.

Doug Knott, the development administrator for Rochester says the move is all part of the overall downtown master plan.

"They were vacant and they were for sale, and the city has long been an advocate of having a downtown campus for the University of Minnesota Rochester," said Knott.

"Our goal is to continue to purchase properties in the space that we've identified as the future campus of the university," said Hesley.

Eventually, the campus is expected to grow to 10 acres.

"We need to look at the predesign. We need to work with the University of Minnesota systems in order to identify the how, the when and the where we'll place buildings eventually," said Hesley.