Industry Demand Sparks UNH Manchester Expansion to Pandora Mill

Thursday, August 16, 2012
Bookmark and Share
pandora building at UNH Manchester

UNH Manchester will expand to the first floor of the Pandora Mill in fall 2012

The newly transformed Pandora Mill will welcome its first occupant, UNH Manchester, for the start of fall courses in September 2012.

The first floor of the Pandora Mill will become home to the college’s computing technology and engineering programs, as well as the UNH Graduate School’s Manchester campus. The renovated space will provide the college with an additional 22,000 square feet beyond the current location at 400 Commercial Street. The expansion will include 10 classrooms and labs, faculty offices, and several student common areas and study spaces.

Mihaela Sabin, associate professor and coordinator of the computing technology program, sees the expansion as an opportunity to respond to the demands of the businesses and industry. “Employers tell us they want computing professionals with skills in collaboration, communication, team work and problem solving. Our new computing technology lab will provide space for just these needs, with large meeting tables and space for peer review and shared learning,” said Sabin.

The computing technology lab will include networking and infrastructure equipment for experimentation with new technologies. The second lab, also known as a studio classroom, will be used for computing and physics courses.

Ali Rafieymehr, dean and professor of computer science said, “The new space provides a great opportunity for UNH Manchester to grow enrollments in our current programs that we offer and at the same time it enables us to start new programs to address the needs of our business community. Expansion into the new space will also allow us to create the Emerging Technology Center where our students in collaboration with the business partners can work on real world projects.”

Pandora has been a landmark in Manchester since it was built in 1850. During its heyday, the 144,000 square foot Pandora Mill was home to a thriving textile industry, including Pandora Industries. The company closed in the 1980’s and the building sat vacant for nearly 20 years.

Aurore Eaton, executive director of the Manchester Historic Association, sees the Pandora Mill as an historical icon in the city of Manchester. She said, “This is one of the most important historical structures in the city, and its recent rehab has brought it back to life in a wonderful way by blending history with modern materials and technologies. There couldn’t be a more appropriate use for the building than to become an extension of the University’s millyard campus!”

For more information and photos, visit the college’s website

UNH Manchester, UNH's urban campus, offers liberal arts and applied majors in business, science, and technology, all with an urban focus. UNH Manchester is UNH. Learn more at

Originally published by:

UNH Today