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MassDevelopment Bond Helps Western New England University Improve Sleith, Herman Halls

March 14, 2012

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
David Stawasz, Western New England University, 413-796-2026 & 413-214-8001 (cell)

MassDevelopment has issued an $8.38 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Western New England University, which serves 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students in Springfield. The University will use bond proceeds to improve Sleith and Herman Halls, including upgrades to classroom equipment, computer labs, and furnishings. The school will also reconstruct restrooms and renovate those buildings to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

“2011 was a proud year for Western New England University as the school became a university,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “At MassDevelopment, we’re proud to support this Springfield institution in its vital educational mission as it grows and improves its facilities.”

Founded in 1919 as the Springfield outpost of Northeastern University, Western New England University established its own charter as Western New England College in 1951. The school officially changed its name in July 2011 to reflect its depth of academic offerings. The school’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Engineering offer more than 40 undergraduate programs as well as graduate and doctoral offerings. The School of Law offers full- and part-time J.D. programs as well as a part-time LL.M. program.

In August 2011, the Western New England University College of Pharmacy enrolled its founding class of 75 students. MassDevelopment had issued $43 million in tax-exempt bonds to help build the 127,000-square foot academic building that now houses the School of Pharmacy along with programs in biology, checmistry, physics, psychology, and neuroscience.

“The construction of the new Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy along with these upgrades two existing academic buildings has dramatically transformed the learning environment for our students,” said William Kelleher, Vice President for Finance and Administration at Western New England. “Having a partner like MassDevelopment that understands our needs has been invaluable as we make these investments in our campus and our community.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed more than 300 projects generating investment of $3.8 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 10,000 jobs (2,547 permanent and 8,129 construction), and build or rehabilitate more than 1,000 residential units.