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Worcester Telegram & Gazette, by Martin Luttrell

Financing Lined Up for WPI Athletic Center

March 01, 2010

WORCESTER – The Massachusetts Development Finance Corp. has issued $56 million in tax-exempt bonds on behalf of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, which plans to use bond proceeds to build a 140,000-square-foot sports and recreation center on its main campus.

The center will be used for student sports, recreational activities, conferences and other events. Bond proceeds may also finance renovations, repairs and improvements at the main campus as part of WPI's seven-year capital projects plan.

“We're proud that this low-cost financing can help build WPI's sports and recreation center, which fulfills a key part of the university's master plan,” said MassDevelopment President and Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Culver. “This transaction represents a classic case of sound money helping smart minds build sound bodies, too.”

The center, whose architect is Cannon Design Inc., will include a 29,000-square-foot gymnasium, a 25-meter pool, 11,000 square feet of fitness space, squash and racquetball courts, a rowing tank, athletic offices, a multi-level atrium and a glass-covered passageway between the new center and WPI's Harrington Auditorium.

In addition to its health and recreation offerings, the new facility will create greater capacity for WPI to host national and international conferences, robotics competitions, career fairs, admissions open houses, and alumni events. The center will be available for use by WPI students, faculty and staff.

Construction on the sports and recreation center is expected to start following the May commencement ceremonies, with a completion target date of August 2012.

The project's contractor is Gilbane Construction Inc. The facility is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth.

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