With a goal of extending its green mall in accordance with future building projects, UMass Lowell was faced with the need to replace (and then remove) its only dining facility on South Campus. Various programs within the adjacent McGauvran Student Center had recently been relocated to Central Campus, creating an opportunity to re-imagine the brutalist 1970 structure and create a hub for the South Campus community. Grounded by the relocated and expanded All You Care to Eat dining program, the building programming was expanded to include 400-seats of retail dining and additional classroom and seminar spaces. In its new conception, McGauvran Center now serves the needs of not only students, staff, and faculty, but also of campus visitors and the surrounding Lowell neighborhood.
Through programming, fit planning, budgeting and analysis, the Bergmeyer team identified opportunities to overlap the uses of particular space by time of day in order to increase their value as assets to the campus community. From a dual-facing grill serving both retail and board plan customers, to the bakery in the convenience store which now produces all baked goods on campus, to seating areas that flex and entire zones of the building that now accommodate lunch and dinner traffic while also accommodating classes, seminars, studying and informal gathering – the new McGauvran Center is alive with activity 24/7.
The design concept for the project is “Double Duty” – referring to the dual uses of the various programmatic spaces as well as the unusual combination of board plan and retail dining.
Sustainability also played a vital role in the project design as dining facilities use tremendous amounts of water and energy. Water efficient fixtures enable the building to reduce its water usage by more than 40% while high-efficiency HVAC, kitchen equipment and lighting contribute to a 21% energy use savings. The team was able to reuse 97% of the existing envelope and structural elements and divert 80% of construction and demolition waste from landfills. A pulper/extractor system reduces food waste by 80-90% and used fryer oil is pumped and collected as an alternative fuel. McGauvran is LEED Silver certified.