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Old 04-09-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
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Under Construction Wentworth Expansion

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Wentworth plans $128M campus expansion
By Thomas Grillo, Boston Herald April 9, 2009

Wentworth Institute of Technology has proposed an ambitious $127.6 million expansion of its Mission Hill campus.

The 105-year-old school that specializes in architecture, computer science and design has filed plans with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for a Student Life Center, a 260-bed dormitory, a 40,000-square-foot addition to accommodate new classrooms and studios, and a parking garage.

If approved by the city, the redeveloped campus would include a four-story student center, gallery, fitness center and game room.

The six-story residences would be built at 525 Huntington Ave. and will offer dorms for up to 395 students.

A four-story addition of classroom space and a 400-car parking garage would be built on Parker Street.

Wentworth also wants to construct two buildings of up to 14 stories that would contain up to 650,000 square feet of office and research space at Sweeney Field.
http://www.bostonherald.com/business...11&format=text
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

525 Huntington Ave is where that triangle of land near the MFA is. They spent some $ to build a park but I always felt that it would make a great triangular building (Kinda like MassPharm up the road).

This expansion has been talked about since I was there in 2002-04 so I'm glad to see some progress.

I'm interested to see what they do with Sweeney Field as well. It seemed like such a nice open space, well defined and set up to show off WIT's main buildings. I think originally they were going to build new classroom space on a parking lot further down Parker St but perhaps they will build a new sports center there instead (it is a bigger lot than the current Sweeney Field.)
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

That park never belonged across from the MFA; the vista from the front steps always looked unbalanced. I'm glad something's being built there.

That said, this is a massive expansion for an institution like this. I bet they can't do all of it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:13 PM   #4
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

Well they will probably do it piece by piece. I mean they had pretty ambitious plans when I was there and they've only built one new dorm since then. But they also spent time gathering the land they need. Since they didn't give a time table I'd say 10-15 years for it all to get done sounds about right.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

I'm a little confused; are they building two buildings (260 beds + 395 beds = 655 beds) or are they building one building with 260 beds (bringing their total to 395 beds)? If they are in fact building 655 new beds, that sounds like a huge increase for them. Is there really that much interest and money for this? Is Wentworth now the Northeastern of 10 years ago, BU of 20 years ago, and BC of 30 years ago?
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:57 AM   #6
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

I think the Herald has it's numbers messed up. It is one dorm for 395 students, probably 290 bed rooms (roomates and all). I think this has more to do with getting students out of off campus housing rather than expanding. WIT doesn't have that many dorms and the ones they have are old and crappy (except the 2 newer ones.)
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

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That park never belonged across from the MFA; the vista from the front steps always looked unbalanced. I'm glad something's being built there.
An existing park in Boston lost to institutional expansion? Will this pass muster with the neighbors who probably now see this park as their own private yard?

Go Wentworth!
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

you'll here a major uproar in 5 years, when this actually goes u/c and the neighbors say "they never told us!" even though there will be probably dozens of neighborhood meetings.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

I am little confused. I really don't think that Wentworth is going to build on Sweeney Field. The sports program is a very important aspect of the school. Plus Wentworth make makes money off of the field by leasing time to other schools. That field is not even 10 years old. 525 Huntington is where the gas station used to be between Huntington and Vancouver. They are definitely building there. Has the plan changed? The last scheme that I saw, There was to be a ice rink built in a parking lot on Parker street.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

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An existing park in Boston lost to institutional expansion? Will this pass muster with the neighbors who probably now see this park as their own private yard?

Go Wentworth!
Well the field is property to WIT, not a public park, and the only "residents" are students, so I really see no problem here.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:54 AM   #11
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

Huntington Avenue: so much potential, such an arid wasteland!
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:06 PM   #12
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

What would you do with it?
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:55 PM   #13
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

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Huntington Avenue: so much potential, such an arid wasteland!
It's not the wasteland it used to be. It is slowly coming to life, more so than a lot of places in the city, even Boylston St. When I lived there it was dangerous to go to Brigham Circle and now that place is happening.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:11 PM   #14
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

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It's not the wasteland it used to be. It is slowly coming to life, more so than a lot of places in the city, even Boylston St. When I lived there it was dangerous to go to Brigham Circle and now that place is happening.
Between Mass Ave and Brigham, I actually think that one of the worst stretches on Huntington (for a pedestrian) is in front of the MFA!

Brigham's sheer force of will seems to be working, that mile or so through there is much safer than even five years ago, and now this construction project announced to fill in one of the holes. Good stuff, in my opinion.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:39 PM   #15
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

It's a better "Avenue of the Arts" than Philadelphia's, at any rate, and it looks much spiffier with the E line upgrade and the new trees that went in over the last few years. With the trolleys and fin-de-siecle art institutions, it's a bit like Boston's Ringstrasse.

If it were possible, I'd band together the street's institutions into a sort of BID that could fund relevant street art - maybe showcasing recent works by students at MassArt or somehow showcasing the music at Symphony and Jordan Halls (through video installations, maybe?) More than just banners, at any rate.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:40 PM   #16
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

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Well the field is property to WIT, not a public park, and the only "residents" are students, so I really see no problem here.
But it is GREEN space, property rights be damned! This is Boston, did you just get off the bus from Oshkosh?
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:29 PM   #17
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

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What would you do with it?
Haussmannize it.

It's the perfect candidate.
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:02 PM   #18
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

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Haussmannize it.
Oh, that's your answer to everything.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:17 PM   #19
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

Streetwalls of Paris
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:15 PM   #20
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Re: Wentworth Expansion

It's already pretty much got a street wall, hasn't it? Or is in the process of acquiring it where it doesn't.
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