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Boston Green Lights Campus Expansion

Construction is slated to begin this fall

 
  An architectural rendering of the proposed 168 Massachusetts Avenue building as viewed from Boylston Street
  William Rawn Associates Architects Inc.

Some positive changes are coming to the campus and the city. The Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved Berklee College of Music's institutional master plan to develop three parcels of land along Massachusetts Avenue that will add 500,000 square feet of classroom, performance, administrative, student life, and dorm space for 800 students. Construction for one of the projects will begin this fall.

The three parcels are 168, 161-171, and 130-136 Massachusetts Avenue. The latter is at the corner of Boylston Street, the current location of the Berklee Performance Center. Referred to as the Berklee Crossroads Project, the site will undergo the most dramatic changes when it's fully developed as a 24-story tower featuring a new, state-of-the-art performance center. The building was originally designed to be 29 stories tall, but neighborhood residents requested that the college reduce the building's height. That goal was accomplished with the acquisition of other properties.

The projects will add housing for a total of 800 students, complying with the request of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino that local colleges and universities move more students into on-campus housing to free up rental apartments for neighborhood residents.

The first construction project scheduled is 168 Massachusetts Avenue, at a projected cost of $100 million. The building on the site will be razed to create a 16-story, 155,000-square-foot mixed-use building with floor-to-ceiling windows on the bottom floors illuminating student life and music for passersby.

 
A view of the future Massachusetts Avenue streetscape seen from the direction of Symphony Hall  

Construction is scheduled to commence in the fall of 2011, and the finished building will open for the 2013 fall semester. The new building will also house additional dorm rooms with approximately 370 beds, a two-story dining hall, and student performance venue with seating for 400. A music technology center with recording studios will be developed below grade. Practice and ensemble rooms and student lounges will occupy the upper floors. The structure will also include retail space on Massachusetts Avenue.

"Developing these projects promises to be the most exciting event in my tenure at the college," says President Roger H. Brown. "With all the new living space, we'll be able to house our entire entering class. And with all that it has to offer, 168 Massachusetts Avenue is going to be an important addition to the fabric of the neighborhood. I really appreciate all the hard work the Boston Redevelopment Authority task force devoted to this project."

William Rawn Associates, Architects Inc., the firm that created the design, is responsible for several award-winning performing arts and college campus buildings, including the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the Williams College '62 Center for Theatre and Dance, the new Cambridge Public Library, and a pair of buildings on the Northeastern University campus.