Ground Broken for Berklee Tower



  Working together (from the left): Byron Rushing, Massachusetts state representative; builder Lee Michael Kennedy; Mike Ross, Boston city councilor; Berklee President Roger H. Brown, Marty Walz, Massachusetts state representative; Mayor Thomas Menino, Reverend John Unni, and architect William Rawn
  Photos by Phil Farnsworth
  A student brass ensemble provided a fanfare for the groundbreaking.



Berklee President Roger H. Brown, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and several community leaders were on hand for the November 30, 2011, groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of Berklee's 160 Massachusetts Avenue building. In just two years' time, a 16-story modern tower will be constructed there, expanding facilities in which Berklee students will live, record, perform, and practice.

The 155,000-square-foot facility will house dorm rooms with approximately 370 beds, a two-story dining hall that will double as a student performance venue with seating for 400, recording studios, practice and ensemble rooms, student lounges, and street-level retail space. The $100 million building will be the first in the college's 66-year history built from the ground up. The project is due to finish in time for the fall 2013 semester.

"When the building is complete, we will be able to house all of our entering students for the first time in our history," said President Brown during an outdoor ceremony attended by Berklee community members, neighbors, and city leaders. "We'll have a cafeteria that in the evening will become a place where our neighbors can come and hear live music. The facilities in the building's basement will represent a 300 percent increase in the number of recording studios and production suites, including one that will hold 50 musicians."

In his remarks, Mayor Menino called Berklee a world-class institution and lauded its enduring contributions to the city, including support for the Boston public schools, the annual BeanTown Jazz Festival, and the volume of free neighborhood concerts.

"This is great news for a number of reasons," Menino said. "The new construction is creating more than 300 union jobs and it's helping my comprehensive housing plan by putting more students in campus housing, freeing up neighborhood housing for working families."

The Lee Kennedy Company, of Quincy, MA, is constructing the building. The project architect is William Rawn Associates, Architects Inc., of Boston, which is responsible for numerous award-winning buildings in New England.