Redevelopment of the Hills Building and Parking Lot 52 Expansion

Weston & Sampson provided design and engineering services for the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s (UMA’s) re-use and redevelopment design for an over two-acre parcel.

We designed the abatement and demolition for a 1960s-era 24,440 square-foot Hills Building that formerly was a dormitory and housed the School of Education and Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning programs. Following demolition, to address parking shortages in the central area of the UMA campus, Weston & Sampson provided concept and design plans for site redevelopment including the creation of 125 new parking spaces. Weston & Sampson worked closely with UMA and had no disruption to abutting student dormitories and academic buildings over the multi-year project.

To support the Hills Building demolition design, Weston & Sampson performed a hazardous building materials survey, collected existing site data using our licensed topographic surveying team, and estimated project costs. We managed construction administration and oversight, including third-party oversight of abatement phase activities by our firm’s licensed Asbestos Inspector. Our geotechnical engineers assessed subsurface conditions and provided contractor guidance to achieve proper compaction and soil stabilization with native silt and clays. The project included abatement of asbestos-containing utilities and avoidance of active steam tunnels.

After the building demolition, Weston & Sampson provided UMA with concept redevelopment plans, including parking, recreation, and passive landscaped areas. We designed a 117-space parking lot, roadway re-alignment and sidewalk replacement generating eight new metered spaces, and a gabion-walled rain garden. Weston & Sampson specified the most recent MassDOT SUPERPAVE asphalt courses. The rain garden provided both aesthetic and functional value with plantings selected for their water tolerance and capacity to limit storm peak flow tying into UMA’s Storm Water Management Program (SWMP). Our team also designed and coordinated the placement and installation of the conduit, wiring, and concrete pad for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station later installed by UMA. During both the demolition and redevelopment projects, we protected and preserved large-growth memorial trees within the limits of work.

Our environmental professionals; site/civil, geotechnical, and electrical engineers; and landscape architects collaborated with UMA to deliver cost-effective services that resulted in an attractive redeveloped site.


LOCATION: UMass Amherst


  • asbestos abatement, building demolition, and follow-on site redevelopment

  • creation of a 125-parking-space parking lot with EV charging station pad, and 2,800-square-foot rain garden

  • multi-disciplinary collaboration

  • successful construction adjacent to active dormitory with safety as top priority

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