University of Southern Maine Portland Commons Residence Hall and McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success

Transforming USM's Portland campus.

University of Southern Maine McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success
Portland, ME
Delivery Method
University of Southern Maine
Year Complete

Project Overview

This massive transformation of the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus included two adjacent facilities: the 218,000-square-foot, eight-story Portland Commons Residence Hall and the 41,000-square-foot, three-story McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success. The project was the largest in the school’s history with 1,700 personnel working onsite in the middle of an active downtown campus.

Portland Commons offers 580 beds in 385 units with a mix of single-occupancy rooms, studio apartments, and larger multi-bedroom units. The four wings of the hall — two reaching five stories and two reaching eight stories — form a parallelogram that encloses a half-acre semi-private residential courtyard. Wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass, the angular corner above the lower Bedford Street wing allows unparalleled views of the peninsula skyline and Back Cove. Student spaces include a community kitchen, living room, conference and meeting rooms, study nooks, bike storage and a bike repair room, residence life offices and an eighth-floor sky lounge. On track for Passive House Certification, Portland Commons is the second largest Passive House building at a university in the United States and is a top-10 largest Passive House building anywhere in the country. It is projected to use less than half the energy of a standard modern building.

The McGoldrick Center celebrates Portland’s maritime industry and the State’s forestry industry with diagonal mass timber framing, a corrugated metal façade, an interior stone fireplace and natural stained wood. The first floor features a lobby, the 254-seat dinning commons, the Double L Fireside Student Lounge, the University Store and the Husky Brew coffee bar and pub. The second floor is dedicated to the University’s Career & Employment Hub, including an office suite for career services advisors and a 4,500-square-foot multi-purpose room seating up to 300 people. On the third floor, the Student Diversity Center houses a study lounge and interaction spaces. Sustainable building practices supporting LEED Gold certification include a 33.3-kW rooftop photovoltaic array, passive solar heating, and significant mass timber elements.

Anchoring the transformed campus is the new one-acre central quad, located on a former commuter student parking lot. This open and gently sloping green lawn is the signature open space for the University.



Square-Foot Passive House Residential Hall


New Student Living Residential Beds


Square-Foot Center for Student Success

Our Clients

As the largest construction project in USM’s history, we knew we needed the right team to bring our vision to reality. We selected PC Construction for their reputation in the higher education industry of professionalism, solution-minded approaches, and high-quality construction. Over the course of the project, I have seen that this reputation is well-deserved.

Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson

President • University of Southern Maine