Worcester Polytechnic Institute to Build Sports and Recreation Center with Proceeds from $56 Million MassDevelopment Bond

March 1, 2010

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086
Lorraine U. Martinelle, WPI, 508-831-6425

MassDevelopment has issued $56 million in tax-exempt bonds on behalf of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), which plans to use bond proceeds to build a 140,000-square-foot sports and recreation center on its main campus. The center will host student sports, recreational activities, conferences, and other events. Bond proceeds may also finance renovations, repairs, and improvements to facilities 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 CEO 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 four-court, 29,000-square-foot gymnasium; a 25-meter natatorium; 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 2010 commencement ceremonies, with a completion target date of August 2012. The project's contractor is Gilbane Construction Inc. The facility is designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in keeping with WPI's commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2007, WPI’s Board of Trustees endorsed a policy calling for all future buildings on campus to be environmentally friendly and designed to meet LEED certification. The center should be WPI's third LEED-certified building; the others are Bartlett Center and East Hall.

“WPI achieved its financing objectives with very favorable terms. I want to thank Mass Development for its support in helping further WPI's capital plans,” said WPI Executive Vice President and CFO Jeffrey Solomon. “I am pleased that WPI is in a sound financial position to be able to continue to make strategic investments that transform our campus and improve the quality of our student and community life.” To learn more about the project, please see WPI's Sports and Recreation Center website.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. WPI’s 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. WPI’s world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Perspective Program. There are 26 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

About MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.