October 2008

Construction Update

A number of building projects are under way on all three campuses

The dental school’s vertical expansion, which will add five floors and 95,000 square feet to the 10-story building at One Kneeland Street, was photographed on Sept. 23 and is slated for completion in November 2009. Photo: Alonso Nichols

Construction crews are not an unusual sight at Tufts these days, with additions and renovations taking place on all three campuses. To keep the Tufts community up to date, here is a list of current construction projects, and their estimated completion dates:


Packard Hall The interior and exterior of the building are being completely restored; plans also call for a new elevator to provide improved accessibility. “The slate roof is about 50 percent in place now, and work has begun on a very small addition that will accommodate the elevator and a set of stairs, a secondary means of egress,” says John Roberto, vice president for facilities. The masonry work is also well under way on the building; completion is set for mid-March.

Tisch Library Roof Garden This project will provide a new roof, an accessible entrance plaza and the creation of artistic garden/meditation space with seating areas, landscaping and mosaic tile. The installation of granite and masonry on the roof that will create those seating areas is under way. The project is scheduled to be completed in early December.

51 Winthrop The interior renovation of the former Sacred Heart Church, which Tufts purchased after the Archdiocese of Boston closed it, will create a large, multipurpose function space, including seating for between 175 and 200 for dining and other events. “Construction continues on schedule and completion is slated for mid-January,” says Roberto. “Work is under way on the exterior for the new front entrance with a handicapped-accessible ramp.”


Dental School Vertical Expansion This project, which will add five floors and 95,000 square feet to the 10-story building at One Kneeland Street, is well under way. “Work is now beginning on the exterior skin of the building—the curtain wall—which should be complete in the December/January timeframe, at which time the building would be enclosed, and they would begin the interior fit-out,” Roberto says. The expansion of One Kneeland Street, which opened in 1972, will create more teaching and research space, a continuing education suite and offices and meeting rooms. The project is scheduled to be completed in November 2009. (See the Tufts Journal story about the expansion here.)

Sackler Campus Center The project involves the complete interior renovation of the basement and six of the building’s eight floors. It is planned as a three-phase project. The project is currently in phase two, finishing the balance of fourth-floor renovations, including the café, and renovating eighth-floor administrative offices, classrooms and study rooms. “I believe the new café, which is called Food 4 Thought, is scheduled to open in October,” Roberto says. Phase two work is scheduled to be completed in December. The final phase of the project, which is a major renovation of the first floor and the basement area, is set to be completed by August 2009. For more details, see http://www.tufts.edu/med/docs/news/sackler_renovation_project.pdf.

Clinical Skills and Simulation Center This brand-new 9,000-square-foot facility, located on the third floor of 35 Kneeland Street, adds yet another high-tech dimension to the clinical educational program at Tufts School of Medicine. Using computerized mannequins, students are able to refine their clinical and physical diagnosis skills, practice commonly performed procedures and learn how to care for acutely ill patients as part of a team. The 12 patient exam rooms and three simulation rooms are outfitted with video and audio equipment so faculty can observe students interacting with standardized patients from observation rooms equipped with computer monitors. The grand opening of the clinical skills center will take place on October 27, with an open house and tours from 5 to 7 p.m.

Green Space A former parking lot adjacent to the Jaharis Center is being converted into open green space for the Boston campus community. “It’s going to have some seating areas, some grass, some landscaping, a place for folks to come and relax, sit and enjoy lunch or congregate in an informal manner,” says Roberto. “It is getting ready for planting and fencing now, and should be completed by late November.”


Agnes Varis Campus Center Auditorium The addition to the new campus center at the Cummings School will include a 173-seat auditorium, equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and audio-visual electronics, and a continuing education facility. “The ability to hold campus-wide meetings, national and international meetings and community hearings on our campus will broaden our impact on society and academic life, while bringing faculty, students, staff and the local community closer together,” says Andrew Hoffman, associate professor of clinical sciences and director of the Lung Function Testing Laboratory. “The exterior of the building and the masonry are substantially complete,” Roberto says, and work is starting on step risers to accommodate auditorium-style seating. Completion is scheduled for early February 2009.

New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory The exterior and site work for this facility, which will allow researchers to focus their work on emerging infectious diseases and food- and waterborne illnesses, are substantially complete, and the mechanical systems have been installed. The project is on schedule for a December completion of construction activity. “Then there will be a period when the systems will be commissioned, meaning they will be operated to ensure all the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are operating as designed,” Roberto says. The construction is being funded with some $20 million from the National Institutes of Health and another $9.4 million from Massachusetts’ new Life Sciences Initiative, which will offset some capital investment in the building.

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