The Wire @ WPI Online
VOLUME 13, NO. 1     DEC 1999

New places, new spaces in academic building and garage

Artist's rendering of the proposed new academic building and associated plaza.

They're not packing their bags yet, but WPI's departments of Humanities and Arts and Management and its Continuing Education Division could be ensconced in a new academic building on the hillside next to Gordon Library about the time members of the Class of 2002 don their commencement regalia. Simultaneously, an adjacent 525-car parking garage will be constructed on what is now the Boynton Street parking lot. A plaza will connect the academic building and Gordon Library to a pedestrian walkway that will link the buildings to the garage, forming a new gateway for the majority of employees and campus visitors. The Campaign for WPI will raise funds for the academic building, which is expected to cost $18 million. The George I. Alden Society of Worcester has contributed $5 million to the academic building. The garage will be funded separately.

Boston-based Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, Architecture & Engineering, P.C. is designing both structures. Construction of the six-story, 57,000-square-foot academic building and the garage is expected to begin in late-2000. The garage would be completed in nine months and the building in 15 months.

The first totally new academic building on campus since Fuller Labs was completed in 1990, the building will feature eight multimedia classrooms ranging in size from 25-student seminar rooms to a 90-person lecture hall, plus offices for faculty and administrators.

The new construction fills a critical need for additional classrooms and faculty offices. "We're increasing the size of our faculty and our research activities," says John F. Carney III, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We simply do not have room to accommodate these expanding needs."

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Last modified: Jan 20, 2000, 15:41 EST