UMass plans demolition of four-story building

Staff Writer
Sunday, July 30, 2017

AMHERST — An aging academic and administrative building on the University of Massachusetts campus will soon be demolished to make way for a parking lot.

The four-story Hills Building at 111 Thatcher Road, originally built in 1960 as a student dormitory, is slated to be razed in the coming weeks, said UMass spokesman Edward Blaguszewski.

The last UMass employees to leave the four-story brick and concrete building provide counseling services and are relocating to Bartlett Hall and the New Africa House, Blaguszewski said. Other offices have moved in recent years, including the School of Education, which went to the Mark’s Meadow School site, and Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, which moved to the Design Building.

Blaguszewski said the Hills House is plagued by issues, including possible mold and basement flooding, and is not worth reinvesting in, unlike more historic buildings such as South College and the Old Chapel, both of which have been renovated.

“It’s served its useful life,” Blaguszewski said. 

Several recent campus master plans noted that the building, which is located near the intersection with Butterfield Terrace, would be demolished. The more recent master plan suggested that the site could be used in the short term for parking and, eventually, for a possible new academic building.

Blaguszewski said parking is at a premium on campus following the construction of several new buildings in what had been parking lots, including the design building.