SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The University of Massachusetts is exploring the creation of a satellite campus in Springfield.

The university on Monday issued a request for proposals to lease classroom space in the city that system President Robert Caret says will extend affordable educational opportunities to people in the region.

The system's Amherst campus about 20 miles away, which already has a significant presence in the city, would oversee the campus. UMass-Amherst faculty and staff are already involved in more than 120 programs in Springfield.

A study last year by the university's Donahue Institute identified the city as a prime site for a satellite campus.

UMass officials say they are seeking 25,000 square feet of space for classrooms, offices and other uses, with the option of doubling the amount of space.

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