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Mayor Menino Celebrates Groundbreaking on New Berklee College of Music Facility

Nov 30, 2011

Today Mayor Thomas M. Menino celebrated the groundbreaking on Berklee College of Music’s new living and education facility.  The $100 million project located at 160 Massachusetts Avenue will create 300 new construction jobs and 15 permanent jobs, and add on campus housing for approximately 370 students, freeing up housing in the Fenway, Back Bay and South End neighborhoods for Boston residents. “Boston is home to 36 institutions of higher learning and more than 148,000 students attend those institutions.  Building new dorms so students move out of neighborhoods and into supervised facilities is important to the quality of life for everyone in this city,” Mayor Menino said. “Berklee has been a valuable community partner and I’m happy to see the College expanding its footprint in Boston.” In the last ten years more than 10,000 new student beds have been added at institutions citywide bringing the total number of dormitory beds to 37,111.  There are currently 947 dorm units under construction and another 3,293 in the pipeline. The ground floor of Berklee’s new 16-story facility is designed with floor to ceiling windows that will bring life from within the building into the neighborhood.  The project also includes 4,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space, possibly for a restaurant with live music, which will add to existing pedestrian foot traffic along the corridor. The 155,000 total square foot facility will also include practice and ensemble rooms, a fitness center, student lounges, a two-story dining hall with 400 seats that will be used as a new venue for student performance, and a 19,000 square foot below grade music technology center with sound proof studios for recording and post-production activities. The building features a modern, mixed-use edifice that will create a new vertical core for the Berklee campus.  160 Massachusetts Avenue is the college’s first ground up construction project and is the first phase of a multi-year planned expansion, which includes more student housing, a new performance center, and additional administrative and academic space.  More than 4,000 students attend Berklee College of Music, which occupies more than 20 buildings in the area around Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The project architect is William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc., of Boston.  The Rawn firm is responsible for a number of award-winning performing arts and campus buildings, including the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the new Cambridge Public Library, and Northeastern University Buildings G and H.  

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