NH News
3:47 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

UNH Manchester Waits On City To Approve Building Deal

88 Commercial St. (Aka the Pandora Building).
88 Commercial St. (Aka the Pandora Building).
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  UNH Manchester is planning on selling its main building in the millyard to the company run by the inventor of the Segway. The university is looking to expand into a larger space—the millyard’s Pandora building.

For more than twenty years, UNH Manchester has been located at 400 Commercial street, next door to Dean Kamen’s company DEKA’s headquarters. Now, the school wants to consolidate itself in a nearby larger mill building where it already leases the first two floors from Kamen. The swap would mean Kamen can expand his corporate headquarters.

And Interim Dean Mike Hickey says the deal would give the school the space it needs to expand its programs and enrollment.

“Over the next four years, we expect to grow our student base by an additional 200 students. That would bring us close to 1,000 students.”

Hickey says the new space allows for 1,200 students, a 50% increase. The roughly $3.5 million deal needs approval from the city, which has Right of First Offer. The Committee on Land and Buildings is due to meet on the issue Tuesday and the full board of aldermen will vote on it early August. If it passes, UNH Manchester could move into the Pandora building as early as next Spring.