Historically, Berklee College of Music’s increasing space needs have been met by acquiring and adapting existing buildings and by leasing nearby properties. However, in recent years, enrollment has increased to nearly 4,000 students without a proportional increase in available facilities to support it, resulting in overcrowded academic and administrative spaces, and a shortage of on-campus student housing.
To address these pressing facilities needs, the college undertook a comprehensive, multi-year Institutional Master Planning (IMP) process in close collaboration with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston’s planning and development agency, and a community task force appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino. During that time, the college acquired several properties in the vicinity of its other holdings, and it completed a series of smaller projects, principally to provide new and enhanced classrooms and other academic space.
Working with the BRA and the community task force over nearly five years, the college identified three specific projects to provide improved academic facilities, an increase in college-owned student housing and additional space to address other pressing facilities needs.
In May of 2011, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved Berklee’s Institutional Master Plan, including the first of the three projects to be built, the 160 Massachusetts Avenue mixed-use development.