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Spring Groundbreaking Expected for New Admissions Building

For years WPI has wrestled with the need to provide new and expanded space for undergraduate admissions and financial aid, and to create additional on-campus parking. A new plan, endorsed by the Board of Trustees, solves these two major problems and goes one step further: it calls for re-greening the Quadrangle.

In approximately two years WPI will have a new admissions building, an underground parking garage, and an expanded vehicle-free Quad. Thanks to a generous gift from a WPI graduate and his wife, construction on the new admissions building begins in late spring 2004. The university hired Boston-based CBT Architects to design a building for the east end of the Quad, between Sanford Riley Hall and Alumni Gymnasium, where admissions visitor parking is currently located. From here, visitors will have easy access to the Campus Center, academic buildings, residence halls and the athletic facilities.

The parking issue will be tackled as part of the $25 million project. This past summer engineers began taking core samples to determine the feasibility of constructing a parking garage for 500 vehicles beneath the Quad. That would allow for an expanded green space on top. “The plan calls for the planting of new trees and no parking at all, just a small service road,” explains Steve Hebert, treasurer. The bricks bearing names of donors that make up the current walkway across the Quad will be incorporated into the new design.

The hope is that construction will, at most, last a year to 15 months. An interim plan to accommodate the parking needs of the university during construction still needs to be created. “I won’t kid you, it will be a zoo here,” said President Parrish at a September meeting of the faculty. “But just think what it will be like once it’s finished. With parking removed from the Quad, WPI will finally have a large peaceful green oasis in the heart of the campus.”

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Last modified: Aug 31, 2004, 17:07 EDT
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