HAVERHILL — The University of Massachusetts at Lowell will have a satellite campus up and running in the city in time for fall classes, but it will not be downtown.
Instead, the state university is partnering with Northern Essex Community College to offer bachelor’s degree courses at NECC’s Haverhill campus.
“We are pleased that we can begin making a high-quality UMass Lowell education available in Haverhill as soon as September,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We have worked successfully with Northern Essex for years to help their graduates make a smooth transition to continue their education on our campus and now we can say that will be even easier.”
Meehan stressed the university is “totally committed” to finding a site downtown for a temporary satellite campus and then eventually a larger, permanent campus there.
“We wouldn’t be going to Northern Essex if we weren’t totally committed to downtown,” Meehan said. “The reason we are going to Northern Essex now is to begin to grow a program so we have the enrollments and structure in place for a larger site downtown.”
Meehan said the university wants to find an interim property downtown with 10,000 square feet of office space for six to eight “smart classrooms” and administrative offices. The university wants to double the size of the space in three years, he said
“We could expand at the temporary site or it could be new construction,” he said. “You can’t just show up and use 20,000 square feet.”
In December, UMass-Lowell announced plans to open a satellite campus in downtown Haverhill in time to offer classes there this coming fall. An initial search for a suitable property failed, however, when university officials rejected two proposals in February from downtown property owners. A press release from the university yesterday said its NECC satellite campus will be the university’s first satellite and that courses will be offered in fields such as business administration, criminal justice and liberal arts.